Bob Williams hire one of several changes to new-look TOUR Championship
New focus of event to celebrate Atlanta
ATLANTA – The TOUR Championship, where the 30 best players in the world compete for the season-culminating FedExCup and its $10m winner’s prize at historic East Lake Golf Club September 18-24, has renewed its focus on Atlanta’s love of golf, its tradition of hospitality and its unique history. This new focus begins with a series of new hires announced today, highlighted by Bob Williams, former President of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, who joins the TOUR Championship as Executive Chair to consult business operations.
“We are thrilled to welcome an accomplished sports and entertainment professional like Bob Williams to the TOUR Championship,” said Matt Rapp, Senior Vice President of Championship Management at the PGA TOUR. “His success in making Philips Arena one of the premier concert and event venues in the world, combined with his commitment to the Atlanta market, make for a perfect partnership with the TOUR Championship.”
In his 40-plus years working in Atlanta, Williams hosted more than 7,000 events at the Omni Coliseum and Philips Arena—including three NBA and NHL All-Star Games, the 1996 Olympic Games Volleyball and a Democratic National Convention—and held board positions with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), the Atlanta Sports Council, Central Atlanta Progress, The University of Georgia’s Board of Visitors, the Georgia Alliance for Children, the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, and The Ron Clark Academy, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Under Williams’ leadership, Philips Arena achieved 10 top-five Pollstar magazine rankings of concert and event venues in the United States for the calendar years beginning 2001 through 2014.
In addition to hiring Williams and several other key staff members, tournament officials today announced that fans will enjoy a dramatically different experience on site with new welcome areas, Atlanta food partners, celebrity chefs, a signature cocktail and new hospitality venues for all levels of ticket holders. By honoring the legacy of Atlanta hero and golf icon Bobby Jones, and his connection to East Lake Golf Club, the TOUR Championship will connect past history to the emerging legends of today. These rising stars begin their season with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the TOUR Championship and a chance at the final prize, the FedExCup.
“The TOUR Championship has the potential to become not just an event in Atlanta, but a true Atlanta event as we heighten our focus on the tournament’s historic location, the support of two Atlanta-based companies, proud partners The Coca-Cola Company and Southern Company, and the city’s appreciation of good food and hospitality,” Williams said. “These things combined with the millions of dollars in charitable donations to the Atlanta area and the thrilling competition of the most elite field in golf fighting for the FedExCup have me convinced this will be a can’t miss event.”
One example of an updated hospitality venue is the new ULTRA CLUB located on the 13th green with multiple views of the back nine at East Lake Golf Club. The ULTRA Club provides outdoor, covered stadium seating, an extended outdoor patio deck and local food options from Fox Bros BBQ and Universal Joint for a world-class tournament experience. If fans want a wonderful place to watch football while also enjoying one of the best sports experiences in Atlanta, the ULTRA CLUB is the ideal place. The ULTRA CLUB’s interior has been upgraded from 2016 and will serve as the first of many new, upgraded hospitality venues.
In addition to Williams, the event has added Allison Fillmore and Tramayne Russell to the sales team as Senior Director of Sales and Sales Manager, respectively. Fillmore has more than a decade of experience in sales with Atlanta sports entities, most recently with the Atlanta Motor Speedway while Russell comes from Van Wagner where he was part of the SunTrust Park sales team. Kaitlyn Doe (Tournament Services Manager) and Geoff Hill (Tournament Operations Manager) have also been added to the tournament staff, both with years of experience at the PGA TOUR managing and operating tournaments throughout the country.
“The TOUR Championship will have experiences for everyone from the hardcore golf fans, general sports fans, those not as interested in the competition who are seeking great food and a great social experience, those with a business focus looking to either entertain clients or creating new business opportunities through the event and families who are seeking affordable entertainment. There will be something for everyone at the TOUR Championship,” Williams said.
“At Southern Company, we are excited about the enhancements planned for the TOUR Championship,” said Chris Womack, Southern Company Executive Vice President & President, External Affairs. “The PGA TOUR has made this a premier event in a premier city. Southern Company is proud to support events that bring attention to and showcase our communities.”
“On behalf of The Coca-Cola Company, I want to congratulate Bob Williams on his new role as TOUR Championship Executive Chair,” said Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas. “His history of success and commitment to our hometown of Atlanta is evident in his 40-plus year career working in the city. With Bob’s leadership, and the PGA TOUR’s continued commitment to enhance the TOUR Championship experience, we have no doubt this will continue to be one of golf’s best tournaments. As a Proud Partner, we look forward to working with Bob in the years to come and wish him much success in his role.”