PGA TOUR Commissioner Pays Respect to John Deere Classic

by | Jul 4, 2024 | Pro News

PGA TOUR Commissioner Pays Respect to John Deere Classic by Visiting TPC Deere Run

PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan is no stranger to the John Deere Classic having played in the pro am on numerous occasions, as well as personally managing a more than quarter century relationship with Deere & Company.

“This tournament is so remarkable, $14.1 million dollars raised for charity last year, $175 million since inception, 98% of it under John Deere’s tenure.” Monahan proudly shared with a handful of reporters on the eve of opening round here at TPC Deere Run.

jay monahan

Jay Monahan at the John Deere Classic

Wearing a John Deere Classic golf shirt, Monahan said he made the trip to the Quad Cities not to tee it up this time but to visit with CEO John May and his team to help celebrate the company’s 25-year title sponsorship.

“You know, when we leave here Sunday night, somewhere around $14 plus million is going to stay in this community, added Monahan.  “We’ll all be proud of our champion, but we’re also very proud of our impact. Again, we can’t do that without John Deere, the hero this week and for 25 years running.”

Monahan said this place is kind of like the soul of the PGA TOUR, given the way fans in this community turn out annually for the John Deere Classic.

A week ago, the TOUR appointed Andy Weitz, former Aon Chief Marketing Officer, to its newly created role of Chief Marketing, Communications, and Investor Relations Officer. That’s quite a title, and the commissioner agreed with my premise that it’s a sign of how complicated the business landscape has gotten these days.

“It’s a sign of the way the business has evolved, Monahan responded. “We’ve created a for-profit company in PGA TOUR Enterprises with a new investor in Strategic Sports Group, and (the non-profit) PGA TOUR, Inc. is still in place.  It’s going to require that level of expertise, and to have someone that comes from a global 50 company to come in and help us manage this new company the way we interface with our investors, the way that we’re communicating progress in the business going forward, to have that quality of talent come into the organization at this time I think is really exciting.”

I asked the commissioner if Weitz’s role is limited to the new venture or the entire operation.

“Andy will be involved in the entire operation, and I think that’s a good question and the right way to look at it, Monahan responded.  It’s not like someone who is working at the PGA TOUR is going to be asking what hat do I have on right now.”

Monahan said the objective is for everyone to move the business forward.

“There’s just a different structure in place around enterprises and marrying those two, making sure all of our activities are coordinated, the way that we are communicating is coordinated is going to be part of his function,” said Monahan.


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">George McNeilly</a>

George McNeilly

George McNeilly is an award-winning multimedia broadcaster, producer and writer with a journalism background that has spanned the globe from four Olympics, 17 Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Major College Football, Basketball and Professional Golf. A former Senior ESPN executive, George teaches Sports Business at Full Sail University and is managing partner of McNeilly Communications.