Success of Island Resort Championship Springboards Native American Golf Sponsorships
(HARRIS, Mich.) – Sweetgrass Golf Club (www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com) kicks off preparations for the fourth Island Resort Championship this month, welcoming the LPGA Symetra Tour’s return June 27-29.
Sponsorship slots are sold out for Pro-Am tournaments scheduled Wednesday and Thursday during championship week. The Delta County Chamber of Commerce commenced volunteer recruiting and area non-profits have dedicated manpower to sell tickets in return for fundraising dollars.
“This tournament has become the highlight of the golf season, drawing tourism dollars and national exposure to our course and region,” says Tony Mancilla, event co-chair and attorney for the Hannahville band of the Potawatomi Nation, owners and operators of the resort and course. “Players, sponsors and locals look forward to it every year.”
Nearly 5,000 spectators attended the 2013 Island Resort Championship, with tournament sponsorship opportunities filling months in advance of the event. Its success resulted in a three-year contract renewal between the Island Resort & Casino and the Tour last fall, continuing the tournament until 2016.
“We’ve set the bar high for other course hosts in suburban and rural regions,” says Mancilla. “Small-town America can see professional athletes compete at an inexpensive cost, regional sponsors realize the benefit in exposing their brand, and players vie for attractive purses on LPGA-Tour courses. Everyone benefits.”
Since the Island Resort & Casino first became a title sponsor and host in 2011, Symetra Tour purses have escalated to an all-time $2 million high, and the number and quality of host courses has improved dramatically, Mancilla notes.
“For the past three years, we’ve been a standout event,” he says. “Now, we’re proud to be among the top-five venues, because the Tour is simply that much better.”
Mancilla and the Island Resort Championship committee will enhance the spectator experience of the tournament this June. Walking routes to key viewing areas, placement of weather shelters and on-course access by both young and older fans top the to-do list.
“Our town replicates the same visitor, player and sponsor experience as the LPGA Tour,” says Mancilla. “Our shared commitment to excellence makes it a better tournament, every year.”
Three-day grounds passes to the 54-hole stroke-play tournament are $10; kids 17 and under enter free with a paying parent.
For more information: www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com, 877-ISL-GREEN.