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Valspar named Tampa title sponsor through 2017

PGA Tour
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MOBILE, AL - NOVEMBER 10: Ben Barry of Tuscaloosa carries a stuffed Pink Panther on his shoulders as he follows Paula Creamer through her third round play in The Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on November 10, 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. Creamer is nicknamed the Pink Panther. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)  - 

Valspar Corporation has agreed to serve as title sponsor for the PGA Tour's annual stop in Tampa Bay for the next four years, the Tour announced Friday.

Known as the Tampa Bay Championship this year when Kevin Streelman emerged victorious at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, the event will now be known as the Valspar Championship for the duration of the agreement, which runs through 2017.

'Valspar is pleased to become title sponsor of a classic tournament that will provide a unique platform to connect our brand with the PGA Tour,' announced Valspar chairman and CEO Gary Hendrickson.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Valspar is a global provider of paint and industrial coatings, and as part of the agreement also becomes the official paint supplier of both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

The announcement ends speculation about the tournament's future, as until this week it remained the only PGA Tour event without a title sponsor lined up for the 2013-14 season. Reports indicate that the Tour was prepared to move the Puerto Rico Open from its current position opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship into the week currently occupied by the Tampa event if organizers were unable to secure a title sponsor for 2014.

The agreement also serves as the latest chapter in the event's short but complicated sponsorship history, as Valspar becomes the tournament's fourth different title sponsor since 2003. The event began in 2000 and, in addition to being cancelled in 2001 due to the September 11 attacks, has been played without a title sponsor three times: as the Tampa Bay Classic in 2000, as the Tampa Bay Classic presented by Buick in 2002 and as the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank this past March.

Chrysler served as title sponsor from 2003-2006 when the event preceded the Tour Championship in the fall, while PODS sponsored the event in 2007-2008 when it moved to its current March date with the advent of the FedEx Cup schedule. Transitions began sponsoring the event in 2009, an agreement that ended following the 2012 edition of the tournament.