With the conclusion of the Masters in nearby Augusta, the golf-related business boost for South Carolina continues this week with the 44th RBC Heritage Tournament on Hilton Head Island. The traditional opening ceremonies were held Monday afternoon with Governor Nikki Haley in attendance.
“It is an historical week in South Carolina because we can now thank RBC, we can thank Boeing, and we can start fresh again with a great tournament that South Carolina is known for,” Haley told those in attendance, ”You can see the pride in the people of South Carolina. There is certainly pride for me.”
A year ago, the tournament was scrambling to find a new title sponsor– causing many to question the future of the event in South Carolina. On Monday, Gov. Haley said the state’s business-friendly climate has attracted a number of new companies to the state and she remains confident that solid sponsorship would be secured to keep the tournament thriving for years to come.
“Keeping the Heritage was an absolute must. Can’t was not an option on this one; we had to make sure we got it done,” the Governor said, “I hope no one ever forgets that RBC and Boeing didn’t have to do this, but they did. We need to thank them as often as we can.”
Boeing Vice President and GM Jack Jones says he is proud to have the company associated with such a prestigious event.
“I can’t think of a more high-quality event than the Heritage and a high-quality partner like RBC. And it’s not just about the sponsorship money, we’re proud to also say that a large chunk of the money we contribute goes to local charities in the state. You’ll find that we’re a big member of the community and we want to keep it that way.”
RBC CEO Gordon Nixon says he is excited about the bank’s association with the Heritage.
“When we took this title sponsorship last year we knew there would be great opportunities ahead for us. it’s a great tournament. It’s not only a favorite of fans; it’s also a favorite of the players who love to be here. It looks like it’s shaping up for a wonderful week of festivities.”
Thousands of spectators are expected to fill hotels and restaurants throughout the Lowcountry for the 44th annual Heritage. The tournament has an estimated economic impact of $82 million on the state. An additional $22 million in tournament proceeds has been donated to local and regional charities since 1987, including $2.7 million in college scholarships.