Friday, February 27, 2009

The other side of bank outrage, Part 2

How sensitive have banks become to outrage over bank spending?

Wells Fargo announced moments ago that it is taking "Wachovia" out of the Wachovia Championship. The tournament's name will instead include the host course, Charlotte's Quail Hollow.

Tournament officials say Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia Corp. in December, will honor its sponsorship contract with the PGA Tour, which runs through 2014. So why would a company cost itself millions in marketing exposure, while still paying sponsorship money? It could be the first step of stripping the Wachovia name from its business operation - and our consciousness.

Still, they're not replacing the "Wachovia" in the tournament title with "Wells Fargo."

The decision reflects an apparent sensitivity to the outrage Americans have shown to any extravagance - bonuses, company retreats - that were once commonplace in bank operations. This time, that outrage may come at the expense of Charlotte.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Beth Navarro told Bloomberg earlier this week that the bank will be reducing costs of the tournament, including some related to client entertainment. No specifics have been determined, she said. But if you're taking your name off the event, what kind of effort - and money - are you going to put into it?

From the start, Wachovia was determined to make its tournament one of the best on the tour, from the cars the players drove in Charlotte to the perks their wives received to the quality of the corporate gatherings.

That glossy feel played a part in luring the PGA's best to Charlotte, which led to a great deal of good press for us, not to mention business for local restaurants and hotels. If Wells Fargo gets frugal with the tournament, elite players could begin to skip, despite the challenge of the fine Quail Hollow course. It's not a giant step back to becoming the John Deere Classic.

Another consideration: Dialing back on the perks and luxuries of a top-notch tournament also would mean cutting back on services and items local businesses provide. And what of the millions that go to charities?

All of which is a difficult call for officials at Wells Fargo. Americans have become watchful of any bank that's received bailout money, as we should be. In this case, that climate might come with a cost to our city.

26 comments:

Chris H said...

great event just glad they are keeping it.

Anonymous said...

The name "Wachovia" has been tainted and is now associated with greed and corporate irresponsibility. Branding in this economic climate should be abandoned. No brand name is immune to change and there should be flexibity in the corporate and consumer world to change with it.

Anonymous said...

The town of Clemmons NC east of Winston-Salem lost it sponsorship and lost its contract for a senior PGA tour. Clemmons has not seen the growth and prosperity that it had for so long in years past.
Charlotte has numerous golf courses in the surrounding area that see increased interest in golf and events due to the Wachovia being here in Charlotte. These courses employee thousands of Families indirectly. One being myself
If Wells Fargo drops sponsorship, the PGA will offer that tour date to another city where the residents understand and appreciate them.-----Charlotte losses how much income?

Anonymous said...

Bag the tournament.
Use the dough spent on cars etc. for loans to qualified clients to get the economy moving again.

Anonymous said...

Now if Wells Fargo will divest itself of Wahovia's foolish part ownership in the unwanted (by the majority) Charlotte Bobcats, and help restore Democracy to Charlotte by terminating their "Tyrena" (the Arena built on a foundation of tyranny) luxury box suites and help us drive the Bobcats out of town in order to enforce the vote of 6-5-01 that prohibited the funding of the Arena with the hotel-motel tax revenue, they can restore integrity to the Wells Fargo brand.

Anonymous said...

You are talking about a golf tournament; and it correlates to a recent Oakland Raiders outrageous signing of an NFL rookie/ I love golf, but people are blowing themselves away over this greed and fraud---get a life!!!

Anonymous said...

Get over it. Its a recession. What happens through 2011 is not representative of what will happen for the rest of eternity. All sponsorhsip will be down whether its your John Deere Classic or the Masters.

Anonymous said...

On the web today; "Wells Fargo to not pay executive bonuses." Now, you are worried about the nomenclature of a sport with athletes that are paid too much also. And-----dare we once again be so NAIVE as to believe that Wells Fargo can't disguise these bonuses and put another "name" on them as well. I think a better name for the tournament would be the "Vaseline Open," or the SWAPS DEREGULATED OPEN less we be so gullible once again.

Anonymous said...

The biggest mistake that Wachovia made was joining forces with First Union. The First Union takeover of Wachovia caused alot of problems all directly linked to the Greed of First Union.

Anonymous said...

How vicious can the haters on this board get? The tournament is not going anywhere. neither are the Bobcats, the arena, nor Wells Fargo. It seems some of you won't be happy until we reach some post apocolypse mad max type setting, and even then you will still be hating on something else. Go hide in a cave if you can't handle it.

Anonymous said...

Hey look at the brightside - there is always NASCAR, which is basically "recession-proof". The rednecks of this city love their races and no matter what happens to the local economy, we will always have races to attend. The hall of fame is coming here. What more do you want people???

jeff said...

Isn't this a fairly obvious way for Wells to let Quail Hollow and CLT down easy? The bank has given the event time to find another title sponsor if it can -- which is more than can be said for Stanford financial and Blumenthal's off-broadway series. We KNOW that money is not coming back next year.

Face it, much of Charlotte's "wealth" and "attractions" were built on Ponzi schemes of varying sizes.

JAT

Anonymous said...

1:42, please tell me you have something going on in your life other than decade-old arena hate. By the way, the referendum was by law non-binding. So the referendum , by law, cannot be "enforced." I'm sorry you didn't realize that when you cast your useless vote.

Joe Griffeth said...

As a taxpayer, I'm outraged Wells Fargo is not taking advantage of marketing and advertising it has already purchased through the PGA Tournament.

Because of political pressure from Barney Frank and a few other liberals politicials, Wells Fargo is just letting it go? Barney Frank?

I would leverage my brand names for this awesome event.

Then, to put the positive spin entertain the recent homeless, under-privieledged children, and active volunteers instead of customers.

I think they're missing the boat.

Anonymous said...

Why not name it after the charity (Teach For America) the tournament supports? Seems like they are missing out of some free pub and a tax write off.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hey look at the brightside - there is always NASCAR, which is basically "recession-proof". The rednecks of this city love their races and no matter what happens to the local economy, we will always have races to attend. The hall of fame is coming here. What more do you want people???

OK MR REDNECK. THE SMELLERS ALWAYS THE FELLER.

Anonymous said...

If all of you "haters" are p!ssed now - over a glitzy golf tournament - wait until you see how badly Wells Fargo guts the former Wachovia payroll and employee base. You'll wish you'd never heard the word "golf".

Divesting the bank name from the tournament is a smart idea. That way, when the tournament "tanks" - and it will due to the lack of a big-name sponsor, it's an easy "out" for Wells Fargo to fold it's hand.

The statement from Wells that they are "dedicated to Charlotte" should be the first - and last time - to trust many such words fromn a bank.

Anonymous said...

Ohh i just cant help but laugh to myself. What did you think was going to happen when a city and its politicians invest and recruit only one business type for the city (banking). So obviously when that business fails or suffers so does everything else. To not have seen this coming is rediculous, to not learn from this and diversify our local economy should be the outrage. There is one other city that comes to mind when it comes to only one local industry and thats Detroit, a city that failed to create and recruite other business types, and we are heading fast down that track.

Anonymous said...

Nor so far down the road no one in Charlotte or anywhere else will be able to afford to play golf. We are being railroaded into being a country of poor people with just a very few wealthy - the president and congress. Not only your money but your rights are being taken away. Write your congressmen and women and tell them we have had enough spending!!!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte was built on the three legged stool of hyperbole, pretentiousness, and wishful thinking. How hard it is to have to deal with reality. Face it folks: ITS OVER!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymoud said....OK MR REDNECK. THE SMELLERS ALWAYS THE FELLER.

My response: I have never spent a dollar personally supporting NASCAR (and never will) other than leaving my Wachovia cube and walking out side during "Speed Street" and buying a beer for lunch, that's about it.

However, my tax dollars are going to fund a "NASCAR hall of fame"...are you serious?? When did this NASCAR start? When did people start caring and how can we need a hall of fame already? It's only been around for a decade or two. No one really cares and we do not need this.

Anonymous said...

What does NASCAR, CIAA, and the Wachovia Golf Tournament have in common?

They're all niche events that stimulate the local economy!

Pick your event and spend spend spend.

Otherwise put a lid on it!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Charlotte's ego went out the door when one Ken destroyed his company and the other Ken turned his company into a penny stock. It was a fun ride Charlotte, but you're not important in the grand scheme of things. You wish you could be an important enough city to play the Atlanta Braves, but you'll have to settle for playing Richmond instead. You get what you deserve for your arrogance.

Anonymous said...

@5:10 - You have a beer for lunch during the workday? You sound like the person of fan NASCAR is after!

Anonymous said...

02/28/09 Big Payout for Carroll
The highest-ranking Wachovia executive to remain with Wells Fargo following a union of the two banks could get as much as $17.9 million in salary, bonuses and stock options if he sticks it out in 2009. WSJ

Anonymous said...

"Everyhing gov't touches turns to crap" Ringo Star