The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (MGRC), which has generated over $55
million for the regional economy and over $750,000 in assistance for
local non-profit community charities since it began in 2010, will be
staying on the Gulf Coast for the foreseeable future.
C Spire, the company that got its start in the wireless communications
business on the Mississippi Gulf Coast 25 years ago, has signed a
three-year deal to be the presenting sponsor for the annual Champions
Tour event, which will be held from March 17-23 next year at Fallen Oak
The multi-million dollar sponsorship includes provisions for continued
administration of the tournament through the MGRC Foundation along with
additional funding from 14 other consortium partners comprised of
prominent companies with operations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. C
Spire also will continue as sponsor of the Thursday Pro-Am golf event
held annually in conjunction with the tournament.
"We're very pleased to step up our involvement in this tournament and to
continue to support the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which has been so
important to the success of our company for so many years," said Kevin
Hankins, COO for C Spire. "The Gulf Coast is a special place and we want
to be a part of showing the rest of the world all of its beauty, charm
and Southern hospitality."
Hankins spoke during a news conference Thursday at the Ohr-O'Keefe
Museum of Art to announce the agreement and was joined by Champions Tour
and tournament executives, state and municipal elected officials and
business and community leaders who have been involved in the event for
the last four years.
"Our name - C Spire - literally comes from 'customer-inspired' and the
importance we put on listening to and serving our customers," Hankins
added. "We know the Champions Tour embraces a similar approach in all of
its activities and programs involving players and fans - so this is a
natural partnership for us."
Roy Anderson III, Chairman of the non-profit MGRC Foundation and one of
the 15 consortium partners, said C Spire's decision to be the presenting
sponsor is a reflection of the company's continuing commitment to help
the Mississippi Gulf Coast grow by showcasing its people, places and
businesses. "Whether it's being a major sponsor of an event that will
benefit our regional economy, providing great telecommunications
services or helping us rebuild after a natural disaster, C Spire has
always been there for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.," he said.
Champions Tour President Mike Stevens said the MGRC tournament will
continue to be one of the 26 Charles Schwab Cup events that determine
the year's best professional golfer over 50 years of age. "Our players
always enjoy coming to the Gulf Coast with its great food, fans and
hospitality," he said. "These tournaments are great opportunities for
fans to get up close and personal with some of the legendary golfers of
our time. We strive to make our events the most approachable, accessible
and fan-friendly in all of sports and we particularly appreciate C Spire
stepping up to ensure that we will continue to have a tournament stop on
the Mississippi Gulf Coast."
Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway and Gulfport City Councilman Ricky Dombrowski
said the tournament is a way for Gulf Coast communities to come together
to support an event that benefits local hotels, restaurants, travel
agencies, suppliers, entertainment venues and others who provide retail
services used by players and golf fans. Since its inception, the
tournament has generated over $750,000 in cash and in-kind services for
non-profit, community-based charities, including over $300,000 alone for
its primary beneficiary, the Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi
"All of us know the importance and value of this tournament to local
businesses and many of the non-profit charities that provide critical
assistance and services to a wide cross section of the population,"
Holloway said. "That's why we all come together to promote the
tournament and volunteer to work at the event."
The three-day tournament is scheduled to air on the Golf Channel, the
Tour's exclusive cable-television partner, once again next year,
exposing the Mississippi Gulf Coast and its attractions to a live
national audience, according to Duncan McKenzie, chairman of the
Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The television
exposure has the potential to reach 84 million homes in the U.S. and
another 115 million households in 185 countries internationally,"
McKenzie said. "This event is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the
Mississippi Gulf Coast to potential visitors and tourists."
For more information on the 2014 MGRC tournament, please visit www.2014mgrc.com.
About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications, networking and technology
services company passionately committed to making all of its services
conveniently personal. The company powers its fast 3G and 4G LTE
wireless networks with extensive optical fiber infrastructure, offers a
range of unlimited and shared plans that let you relax and pay only for
the unlimited features you really use, products and services with key
customer-inspired features and the industry's only comprehensive rewards
program. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news.
For more information about C Spire and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or
follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire,
Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire,
YouTube at www.youtube.com/cspire
or Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/cspirewireless.
ABOUT THE MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC
In addition to C Spire as the tournament's Presenting Sponsor, The
Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented by C Spire is uniquely funded
by 14 other consortium partners, who see this event as an ideal way to
promote the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The 2014 consortium partners are:
Mississippi Power, Mississippi Development Authority, Hard Rock Resort,
Beau Rivage Hotel & Resort-Fallen Oak, Grand Biloxi Hotel & Spa, Habitat
for Humanity, F.E.B. Distributing, Hancock Bank, IP Resort & Spa, Roy
Anderson Corp, Yates Construction, Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional
Convention & Visitors Bureau and Coca Cola. The tournament is
administered through the MGRC Foundation, Inc. and will benefit Habitat
for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONS TOUR
Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and
accomplished players in the game with many of its 32 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 26 official
Charles Schwab Cup events in 2013 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 2012, tournaments on all five Tours (PGA TOUR,
Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, PGA TOUR Canada)
generated more than $130 million for local charitable organizations,
bringing the TOUR's all-time total of charitable contributions to more
than $1.85 billion. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem.
Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR's website
is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is
headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Follow the Champions Tour at
Facebook.com/Champions Tour and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.
ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the benefiting
charity for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Habitat's work focuses
on assisting working families achieve homeownership, financial education
and counseling. For many, owning a home is often out of reach, but when
presented with programs like ours, these families are able to achieve
great things. Habitat is proud of the 550 homes we have built and
rehabbed over the last several years.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20130912006183/en/
Dave Miller, 601-974-7725