Golfweek has learned that Honda will end the longest-running uninterrupted title sponsorship deal on the PGA Tour.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the Japanese automaker won’t renew when its current deal expires after the 2023 Honda Classic in late February.
Founded in 1972 as the Jackie Gleason’s Inverrary Classic, the tournament has been sponsored by Honda since 1982. The tournament had been played at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, since 2007. In the same year, Children’s Healthcare Charity became the host organization of the tournament, with Barbara Nicklaus serving as chairperson. The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation is the primary charitable beneficiary of the tournament.
The tournament has contributed over $50 million to national and local charities, including the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. (A record $6.45 million was raised this year.) The tournament itself likely will continue as long as a new title sponsor is found. Efforts to land a replacement for Honda are underway.
Tournament director Andrew George praised Honda for playing a big role in the tournament’s growth during its 42 years as a sponsor and said sponsorship interest already has started for 2024.
“We’re so appreciative of 42 years of title sponsorship,” George said. “You look at the impact they made, $60 million plus to charity and helped us grow this to 200,000-plus on-site each year. Collectively as a community we own them a huge thank you.
“We’re going to get right to work on solidifying a place for 2024. We’re not going to be without title, without an event going forward. The moment is going to continue.”
“When Honda became title sponsor of the Honda Classic, the company was preparing to make the popular Accord in the United States for the first time. At that time Honda aspired to become a household name, and has since achieved that goal. Accordingly, the role of the Honda Classic in our marketing strategy has…