BACKGROUND -- The Salesmanship Club of Dallas, sponsor of the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, announced today that Texas-based IT services leader EDS will become the title sponsor of the PGA Tour golf tournament beginning in 2003.
Verizon Communications (previously GTE) has sponsored the tournament since 1988, and will continue its sponsorship in 2001 and 2002. This year's tournament is May 6-13 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.
The following statement should be attributed to Verizon Chairman and Co-CEO Charles R. Lee:.
"The Byron Nelson Classic is a premier event that we've been delighted to sponsor for 13 years. We look forward to our continued association with the tournament this year and next.
"Our bid to continue the sponsorship beyond next year was competitive, and in line with how we measure the value of current and other potential sports marketing opportunities. We have enjoyed a long run and pleasant affiliation with the Salesmanship Club, and are humbled to be associated with such a golfing legend as Byron Nelson.
"The Salesmanship Club presents a best-in-class model of how to successfully run a PGA tournament. We wish the Salesmanship Club, EDS, Byron Nelson and the legions of tournament volunteers continued success."
Since Verizon began sponsoring the PGA tournament (formerly the GTE Byron Nelson Classic) in 1988, the Classic has raised more than $46 million in charitable donations for Dallas-area children and families. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers (SCYFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for children and their families. SCYFC provides mental health and education services through the Salesmanship Club Youth Camp, Family Therapy and the J. Erik Jonsson Community School.