Tampa Bay's Premier PGA TOUR's Champions Tour Golf Tournament Returns As Tampa Bay Pro-Am

Today the Tampa Bay Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. has announced that the event formerly known as the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the premier Champions Tour event, is returning in 2012 with the new name Tampa Bay Pro-Am. In addition, Tampa Bay Lightning have been added as host of the 2012 golf tournament. This partnership, born out of a mutual commitment to serving the Tampa Bay community, will join together two professional sports properties in the area, officially making it the Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by Tampa Bay Lightning.  Through this co-promotional marketing partnership Tampa Bay Lightning Day will be added to the schedule of events, as well as, free grounds admission will be offered to Tampa Bay Lightning season ticket holders. The 2012 Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates the tournament's 25th year of existence, April 9-15, at TPC Tampa Bay. 

 


Today the Tampa Bay Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. has announced that the event formerly known as the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the premier Champions Tour event, is returning in 2012 with the new name Tampa Bay Pro-Am. In addition, Tampa Bay Lightning have been added as host of the 2012 golf tournament. This partnership, born out of a mutual commitment to serving the Tampa Bay community, will join together two professional sports properties in the area, officially making it the Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by Tampa Bay Lightning.  Through this co-promotional marketing partnership Tampa Bay Lightning Day will be added to the schedule of events, as well as, free grounds admission will be offered to Tampa Bay Lightning season ticket holders. The 2012 Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates the tournament’s 25th year of existence, April 9-15, at TPC Tampa Bay. 

“We are committed to keeping this prestigious Champions Tour event in the Tampa Bay market and continuing our legacy of giving to our charitable causes each year,” said Chris Sullivan, Outback Steakhouse Co-Founder and 2012 Tournament Co-Chairman. “Through the support of the Tampa Bay Lightning, PGA TOUR, our key community sponsors, and the strong community effort, we are excited to be moving forward in 2012 with a new name, but the same exceptional event,” concluded Sullivan.

 

“The Tampa Bay area has continued to produce one of the most thriving and unique experiences on the Champions Tour. Our professionals look forward to playing in this event and city each year. We are excited to be coming back here in 2012 and we look forward to continued success in the Tampa Bay market with the Tampa Bay Pro-Am,” said Champions Tour President Mike Stevens.

Tournament officials are still seeking a title sponsor for the 2012 event and beyond, however, through additional support from Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay & Company, and existing sponsors, the tournament will kick off its 25th year in the Tampa Bay area.  As it moves forward without a title sponsor, the event is looking for support from the entire Tampa Bay community to insure its continued success and longevity.

“Tampa Bay & Company and the Pro-Am have been longtime partners,” said Tampa Bay & Company CEO, Paul Catoe. “Taking our involvement to the next level is a great opportunity to highlight and promote our great destination. The Tampa Bay Pro-Am is just one more reason that Tampa Bay continues to be the premier destination for visitors.”

 “The Pro-Am will carry on the reputation of providing the best hospitality, fan interaction and party atmosphere on the Champions Tour,” said Amy Hawk, tournament director of the Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by Tampa Bay Lightning. “Spectators’ will continue to feast on food from the various OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC concepts (Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill), as well as, Lee Roy Selmon’s. We will work hard to continue the tradition of hosting high profile celebrities and the best professional golfers on the Champions Tour in Tampa this April,” concluded Hawk.

Celebrities scheduled to appear include Ronde’ Barber, Derrick Brooks, Craig T. Nelson, Joe Theismann, and Lightning Founder Phil Esposito, who will also serve as the Honorary Chairman of the event in 2012.

The 2012 Tampa Bay Pro-Am hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning will take place on April 9-15 at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, FL.  Tickets are available for purchase by calling the tournament office at 813-265-4653 or visiting www.tampabayproam.com.

About the Tampa Bay Pro-Am & Tournament Format

The Tampa Bay Pro-Am won the 2010 Tournament Business Affairs Award. The Champions Tour Tournament Business Affairs department rates and grades several different categories that determine what makes a successful event, and the Tampa Bay Pro-Am, played for the 19th consecutive year at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, Florida, earned the highest overall score.

 The Tampa Bay Pro-Am golf tournament has contributed over $9 million to Tampa Bay area charities since its inception 24 years ago. The 2011 recipients were the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (with contributions going to the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative at University of South Florida).

The Tampa Bay Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded in October of 2003.

John Cook was crowned the 2011 Tampa Bay Pro-Am champion after a suspenseful playoff.

About the Tampa Bay Lightning

The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning was purchased by Jeffrey Vinik in March, 2010. Upon purchasing the Lightning, Vinik pledged to make the organization world class and he has delivered on that promise, hiring Hockey Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman to be Vice President and General Manager and lauded industry veteran Tod Leiweke to be Chief Executive Officer. Vinik has since privately funded a $40 million transformation of the publicly-owned St. Pete Times Forum and pledged $10 million to Tampa Bay community charities through the Lightning Community Heroes program. The program honors a grass roots hero with a $50,000 contribution to the charity of his or her choice at each Lightning home game for the next five years. The Lightning experienced a rebirth on the ice as well in 2010-11, coming within one game of reaching the Stanley Cup Final after a magical playoff run.

About the Champions Tour

Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game with many of its 29 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events and numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2011 will determine the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour’s leading player. The Champions Tour's primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create

outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. In 2010, tournaments on all three Tours (PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour) generated $120 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.6 billion. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR’s website is www.pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.


 

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