THE PLAYERS Brings Big Business To Northeast Florida


One of the best known golf tournaments in the world, THE PLAYERS Championship, begins next week, May 7-13 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra. The annual event brings more than 135,000 fans, business executives and media from around the world to Northeast Florida to witness golf’s greatest compete for one of the most prestigious titles in professional golf.

“THE PLAYERS is a vital part of our community and the place to be for business,” said Mike Hartley, owner of Hartley Press and co-chair of the JAX Chamber Sports and Entertainment Committee.  “There is no better event in Northeast Florida to meet influential business professionals and decision-makers than at THE PLAYERS.”

According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, the estimated economic impact to the region is in excess of $150 million.  Nearly 2,000 jobs are estimated to be created as a result of THE PLAYERS each year.  The tournament week is the busiest week of the year for the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine. 

“The PLAYERS brings the best field of golf to the region and puts us on an international stage for several days,” said JAX Chamber President Wally Lee.  “The tournament provides us with major economic benefits including the creation of local jobs, an influx of visitors and worldwide media coverage.” 

In addition to the thousands of golf fans that descend upon Northeast Florida to attend the tournament, 700 million households around the world are watching the action on television.  “With all that global exposure, THE PLAYERS is like having the Super Bowl here every year,” Lee said.

Golfers and non-golfers alike come to the tournament to socialize and network with other business associates.  Many companies and corporations use THE PLAYERS as a business development or team-building event.  More than 350 national and international businesses invest in hospitality and sponsorship programs at the tournament, bringing executives and clients to the region to entertain, engage and conduct business. 

“There is no doubt THE PLAYERS is an economic engine for Northeast Florida,” said Jerry Mallot, president of JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the JAX Chamber.  “The tournament gives us a global reach that is important to our region on an economic development level.  We have the opportunity to show the world our region’s attractive lifestyle and that this is an excellent place to move or grow a business.”

The charitable impact THE PLAYERS has on Northeast Florida is equally impressive.  Since 1977, more than $46 million has been generated for charitable organizations in Northeast Florida.  A record $5.9 million was generated in 2011 alone.  Recently, THE PLAYERS made a commitment to generate $50 million for youth-related charities during the next 10 years.