The Travelers Championship has an annual economic impact on the state of $68.2 million, according to a recent study by Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc.(CERC) – and the recognition of its success is not only local, but national. The tournament has been selected by the PGA tour as recipient of the prestigious “Tournament of the Year” award for 2017. The Travelers Championship also won awards for “Most Fan-Friendly Event,” “Best Sales” and the inaugural “Players Choice.” CERC first conducted an impact analysis of the tournament in 2011, and completed another impact analysis for the Travelers Championship in 2017. The results were compared, to look at the changes over time and factors that may have influenced changes in the tournament’s economic effects.
The results: The economic impact had more than doubled between 2011 and 2017, due to two primary factors; a much larger total number of spectators, especially the increased number of individuals from outside the state, and increased spending by the tournament in preparing for and administering the increased number of events that occur during the tournament week.
“The Tournament activities and events, along with all of its associated events throughout the year has grown substantially over the past few years, which has resulted in a large increase in the number of spectators from Connecticut and beyond its borders,” said Alissa DeJonge, Vice President of Research, CERC. “Attendance increased dramatically, which increased spending at the event and among the local businesses.”
With record attendance, sales and fan engagement, the 2017 Travelers Championship raised the bar across the board through a strategic approach that focused on providing a first-class experience for fans, players, sponsors, volunteers and charity, officials pointed out. This marks the first time that the Travelers Championship has been recognized as “Tournament of the Year.”
The Travelers Championship, which donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to charity, announced last month that the 2017 tournament generated $1.72 million for more than 165 local charities, including The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, the primary beneficiary of this summer’s tournament. With approximately 4,000 volunteers worked over 80,000 hours.
It is the largest core amount raised in the history of the tournament, officials pointed out. The record-setting 2017 total brings the total money generated to $14.7 million since Travelers became title sponsor in 2007. More than 750 charities have received funds from the tournament over that time.
“We’re proud of the partnerships we’ve built with local organizations that need help,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “Handing out these checks to so many worthy charities is the highlight of our year. We won’t forget the week we had at TPC River Highlands, with Jordan Spieth winning in such dramatic fashion and the celebration that ensued. But knowing that more than $1.7 million is being given to such a wide spectrum of nonprofits this year reminds us why we do this. It inspires us.”
As the “Most Fan-Friendly Event,” the tournament provided options for fans of all ages, including affordable access, more than 18 food and beverage locations, fan and kid zones and public on-site concerts. The tournament increased fan engagement by 441 percent through creative video and dynamic content, and following Spieth’s thrilling hole-out to win, the tournament handle trended on Twitter for nearly four hours and the video reached YouTube’s front page within 24 hours.
The tournament continued to enhance the player and caddie experience, providing a complimentary charter flight from the preceding event, healthy food options and a variety of special features including caddie appreciation day, a performance by Kevin Nealon and multiple off-site events. To determine the new “Players Choice” category, TOUR players were asked to vote for one event based on tournament services, hospitality, player and family amenities, community support and attendance.
“We work hard on making sure everyone who attends or participates in our event has a world-class experience, so no detail toward that goal is too small,” said Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Travelers. “We are proud to associate our brand with the PGA Tour and this event, and are honored by this tremendous recognition. The best part is that any success we have means more money and attention raised for so many local charities that partner with the tournament.”
The 2018 Travelers Championship, will be held June 18-24 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.
Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Travelers; Sarah Ficenec and Bob Santy, CERC; Nathan Grube, Tournament Director at Travelers Championship; and Alissa DeJonge, CERC