In an effort to grow its brand, Allegheny Sports Medicine has become the official sports medicine sponsor of the PGA Tour. As part of the agreement, two branded sports trailers will follow all tour events providing care to the golfers.
Chief Marketing Officer for the Tour Tom Wade said the decision to name a sponsor to a four-year agreement wasn't a result of a bidding war.
"This is not a thing where you say, 'I want to sponsor it, so for the branding, here's a check,'" Wade said. "We have to be very, very careful about who our partner is because we have to provide world class service for our athletes. If our athletes are unable to perform, we don't have a tour."
Ken Melani is the president and CEO of Highmark, which is in the process of acquiring the parent organization of Allegheny Sports Medicine. He said branding helps promote the care Allegheny Sports Medicine provides but also puts money back into the community as the tour continues to host events in western Pennsylvania.
"The PGA Tour, West Penn Allegheny Health System, and Highmark, and it's about not only serving the players and providing world class service to players and patients, but it's also about the economic impact it will have in this community, and last but not least, it's about giving back to the community and focusing on promoting health and wellness," he said.
On hand for the announcement was Jim Furyk, the 55th ranked male golfer in the world. The agreement includes two trailers outfitted with fitness and therapeutic equipment. There is also a staff of physical therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers who assist in personal conditioning programs, rehabilitation as well as preventative care. Furyk, who missed 5 months on the tour in 2004 with a wrist injury, said while golf isn't football, injuries to the hips, wrist, elbows and shoulders are common due to consistent motion.
"Having two trailers, week in and week out, having two [physical therapists], this is what's worked for us well, so it's a very similar plan to what we've done, but Allegheny Sports Medicine will bring some new technologies, new ideas to the plate, and help us make it even better," Furyk said.
According to Melani, Allegheny Sports Medicine will work to implement similar programs at the collegiate and high school level in the region. Furyk endorsed that idea.
"I commend Allegheny Sports Medicine for taking its role as a community leader seriously by exploring the opportunity to make trailers like the pros use available to local student-athletes," Furyk said.
The 2010 FedExCup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year said he wishes these fitness and rehabilitation programs were available when he first entered the sport 25 years ago. He said more than 80 percent of golfers will use the facilities on a weekly basis.
Wade said the tour is a non-profit that puts money back into communities.
"All of our tournaments are organized as [501(c)(3)] charities and all of the proceeds go to charity," Wade said. "For us today we've generated about 1.7 or 1.8 billion [dollars] for charity, we're closing in on 2 billion. I'd say the majority of that is directed toward healthcare."