Sanderson Farms, title sponsor of the Sanderson Farms Championship since 2013, will continue to sponsor its home state PGA Tour tournament at The Country Club of Jackson through 2026, officials announced recently at the host site. The 10-year extension takes effect once the current agreement expires following the 2016 tournament.
Participating in the press conference were Joe F. Sanderson Jr, Sanderson Farms' CEO and chairman of the board; Andy Pazder, COO for the PGA Tour; and Peter Marks, president of Century Club Charities, the tournament's host organization.
"From the beginning, we've felt our involvement in the tournament could significantly impact Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children and the state of Mississippi," said Sanderson. "Now we are certain of the opportunities the tournament provides, and feel it shows our commitment to both our state and its children. Our greatest hope is that this 10-year commitment will encourage others to respond likewise and reinvest in our great state."
"Since becoming title sponsor in 2013, Sanderson Farms has taken real pride and ownership of the Sanderson Farms Championship and worked diligently with the Tour and Century Club Charities to elevate the tournament's overall impact upon the state and its charitable support throughout the area," Pazder said. "Sanderson Farms has also been very creative in making the tournament distinctly its own through onsite branding and activities. We are extremely pleased to announce the continuation of this sponsorship through 2026."
In 2014, the Sanderson Farms Championship generated $1.4 million for charity, with $1.1 million going to Friends of Batson Children's Hospital and $300,000 to other Mississippi charities. Friends, a nonprofit organization benefiting Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, became the tournament's primary charity in 2008.
In regard to the tournament's economic importance to the state, a study commissioned by the Mississippi Development Authority and conducted by Mississippi State University several years ago determined that it had a $22 million impact.
"Serving as host organization for the Sanderson Farms Championship over the past 21 years, our Century Club Charities members have worked diligently to give back to the community through golf," Marks said. "All of our members are very excited about the 10-year extension with Sanderson Farms that will solidify our brand, and magnify the charitable and economic impact for Mississippi and our children."
Sanderson Farms, one of the nation's leading food corporations, has also increased its activation around the tournament since becoming title sponsor, building a distinct theme related to its business through hospitality, entertainment, signage, and even chicken tee markers that are painted by young patients at Batson Hospital.
The tournament dates back to 1968 when it debuted on the PGA Tour in Hattiesburg as the Magnolia State Classic. Golf Channel televises all four rounds of the tournament. Canadian Nick Taylor, at age 26, won last year's tournament as a PGA Tour rookie by way of the University of Washington.