NBC Sports, American Century Investments and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority have formed a dynamic partnership to turn the American Century Championship into the biggest celebrity golf tournament in the nation. And the three entities announced during the first round of the 26th edition their relationship will continue for the next seven years — a move that will keep the event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
“We look forward to this event every year, and the fact that we’re extending this seven years is just a testament to how good the partnerships are between American Century and NBC Sports, and of course Edgewood,” said LTVA executive director Carol Chaplin. “It’s just got its own energy and its own life.”
American Century has been the title sponsor for the tournament since 1999. The current arrangement which will expire after this year’s ACC will now continue until 2022 — which will mark 25 years for the partnership.
“It gives us an opportunity to tell our story on a national stage, a story we think is very unique, where our firm, which manages money for institutions and individuals, through our ownership structure, is able to contribute profits to help find cures for cancer and other gene based diseases,” said Mark Killeen, chief marketing officer of American Century.
“So having that opportunity and being in this great venue is something that we really treasure, and we’re very excited to extend this.”
Chaplin said more than 40,000 people will attend this year’s tournament over the five days. Along with that comes an influx of revenue to the local economy.
“The economic impact to the area and the awareness that this event brings to the destination is just absolutely incredible,” Chaplin said.
NBC came up with the idea for a celebrity golf tournament after losing its contract with Major League Baseball, and it debuted with 48 players in 1990. It’s now the longest made-for-television sporting event in TV history — the 26th edition has 93 players with a total purse of $600,000.
“This event is only getting stronger and only getting bigger,” said Jon Miller. “We’re excited about that part of it.”
The nation’s longest running celebrity golf tournament, American Century Championship has also donated more than $4 million to a number of national and local charities. The Stowers Institute for Medical Research is the official beneficiary of the 2015 championship.