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Dave Klewan, general manager of the Genesis Open discusses challenges and opportunities of changing title sponsors for golf events

The PGA Tournament at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles has a new team running the event and a new title sponsor.

By the time you’ll read this, we will be close to 100 days from round one of the 2017 Genesis Open. While our event only takes place over the span of a week, it takes a full year to plan and execute a PGA TOUR event. With that said, the planning behind the 2017 Genesis Open has definitely been an exception to the norm.

While I have recently entered into the golf world, I’ve been building and running professional sporting events for almost twenty years. Previously, I had worked for the World Series of Beach Volleyball and the LA Marathon, both staples on the Southern California sporting calendar. In September, I joined the Tiger Woods Foundation as the General Manager of the Genesis Open, only a few months after the announcement of the foundation and Genesis coming together as the new host organization and title sponsor of this historic event. Since that announcement, our teams have been working to plan the 2017 Genesis Open under circumstances not normally associated with operating a PGA TOUR event.

Changing the title sponsor of a tournament is not an every-year occurrence or a simple process. Brand vision and logos must be developed, marketing direction and creative all get redesigned and countless other details are considered to take on the new direction of the tournament. With Genesis on board, we have looked at all aspects of the on-site experience at Riviera for our guests, sponsors and media from the main entrance, to hospitality and concessions, to signage and brand activations.


Luckily, our staff has been amazing and focused on accomplishing everything we need to get done in a short timeframe. We were fortunate to have two amazing staff members remain with us as the PGA TOUR transitioned the tournament to the Tiger Woods Foundation (providing valuable institutional knowledge), and the remainder of our staff has been carefully assembled over the past few months. Making our tournaments a truly memorable experience for our guests takes all departments working in unison, and everyone on the Genesis Open team from sales, to operations, to events, to marketing, have the same sets of goals. It has been a joy to be a part of this team.

As we embark on the home stretch before the 2017 Genesis Open, we still have a lot of work to do. We are very close to being ready to share some exciting details with our guests and fans about the exciting new fan activations and amenities coming to Riviera this February. On a sales and marketing side, we are continuing to bring on new strategic partners and look forward to sharing many of the benefits that our partners will be passing along to all guests at the Genesis Open.

The process of continuing to evaluate and elevate our tournament will never stop. We are looking forward to sharing all of our hard work with our guests this February and celebrating with all of you throughout the week. Welcome to the Genesis Open.

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