More cash for Celebrity Golf Championship |

More cash for Celebrity Golf Championship

Sally J. Taylor

NBCSports and Sports Marketing & Television International have an extra $100,000 to organize the 1999 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship.

The event is scheduled this year for the Fourth of July weekend.

Robert O’Connor, the executive vice president of SMTI, requested the additional funds from the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday. Following prolonged discussion and a few concessions, the board unanimously approved the increase.

“Our goal here is to continue to grow the event and make it healthy for many years to come,” O’Connor told the board, which consists of four casino representatives and a Douglas County Commissioner.

“This event is netting us half of what it did in 1995 (due to expense increases). We’re looking for some help with the bottom line here and we propose to reciprocate with (promotions and advertising) to make up for it.”

O’Connor estimated the package of advertising and golf championship perks that NBCSports and SMTI offered was worth eight or nine times the investment.

“There’s an opportunity here to prominently display Lake Tahoe in these promotions and reach viewers with more affect than you’ve ever had before,” he said.

The original request also included a multi-year funding commitment from the authority through 2003, the period of the contract with title sponsor American Century Investments.

The board postponed discussion on that issue to research whether the authority has the legal ability to make long-term financial commitments of that type.

The board also questioned the timing of the request.

“It’s hard to swallow this amount on this short notice,” said board member Todd Majoris, director of marketing for the Lakeside Inn & Casino.

O’Connor withdrew several points directed to individual business interests rather than the authority and assured the board that the event would not be held again on the Fourth of July holiday during the contract period.

The new dollars brings the TDVA funding commitment to SMTI to $350,000 which be handled through the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

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