PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Innisbrook owner Sheila Johnson will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to officially announce a sponsorship deal that will keep the Tour in Tampa Bay for several more years. Transitions Optical, Inc., a Pinellas Park based company that produces transition lenses, will take over sponsorship of the tournament beginning in 2009.
The length of the agreement was not announced, but it is likely for at least four years. PODS, a Clearwater based storage company, originally signed a six-year deal to sponsor the tournament but backed out after two years. It costs about $7 million to be the title sponsor of a PGA tournament.
This will be the fifth different name of the tournament, which is held on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course. It started in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Championship, then became the Chrysler Championship, the Tampa Bay Classic, the PODS Championship and now Transitions Optical. It will be held March 16-22, 2009 as the third leg of the Florida Swing.