Transitions Optical, Inc., officially became the title sponsor of the PGA event at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club Wednesday. The company announced a four-year agreement to put its name on the tournament, which will be March 16-22, 2009. The tournament will be called the Transitions Championship.
"There's a sense of relief and enthusiasm that we have a great partner and this tournament can march on down the road,'' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.
This is the fourth different corporate sponsor the tournament has had since it became a PGA event in 2000. Unlike PODS, which previously signed a six-year agreement but used a clause in the contract to opt out after two years, there is no early exit option in the Transitions contract. The cost to be a corporate sponsor for a PGA event is close to $7 million per year.
Transitions Optical was founded in 1990 with a lone office off Belcher Road in Pinellas Park. It is now a global company specializing in photochromic lenses that adjust to light and dark. It is because of the global appeal of golf that the company said it decided to partner with the PGA.
"It's a big step for us, no doubt,'' managing director of Transitions Optical David Cole said. "But we have a great platform with the PGA Tour to get our message out. We think it's a perfect match. It's a global sport, and we want to reach people who are active and follow the Tour.