RENO, Nev. – The Reno-Tahoe Open has landed a new title sponsor and is changing its name to the Barracuda Championship under a four-year, multimillion-dollar deal with California-based Barracuda Networks Inc., tournament and PGA Tour officials announced Wednesday.
The title sponsorship is the first the 16-year-old tournament has had since it was played as the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open in 2008 and 2009. The event has been struggling to find a sponsor since.
This year’s tournament has a $3 million purse and is set for July 31-Aug. 3 at Montreux Golf & Country Club between Reno and Lake Tahoe.
Tournament director Chris Hoff said PGA Tour policy prohibits him from revealing details of the agreement but said it is in the “range” of $1 million a year.
“The important thing to note here is the investment is significant and it’s for at least four years,” Hoff said.
“I don’t want to say it legitimizes us but it certainly elevates us,” he said. “We’ve got a global, publicly traded company that not only realized the value of the PGA Tour, but is yet another company that recognizes the Reno-Tahoe area and what a fantastic place this is to live, work and play.”
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Barracuda Networks specializes in computer data storage and security systems.
Huff acknowledged there was some reluctance to relinquish “Reno-Tahoe” as part of the name of the tournament, which is played on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course that winds through towering pines and mountain streams on the edge of the Sierra.
“It’s kind of a necessary evil,” he said. “The TV coverage isn’t going to change. You still are going to see the beauty of Montreux, they still are going to show shots of Lake Tahoe and downtown Reno.”
RED Development, builder of the Legends shopping mall in neighbouring Sparks, paid $1.6 million for the previous two-year title sponsorship. The only other title sponsor was Greens.com, which signed a $1 million deal for the 2000 tourney but paid only half that amount before going out of business just weeks before the tournament.
Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said the new sponsorship puts a “Good Housekeeping seal of approval on the event.”