In 1997 – when I was 16 years old – a friend invited me to come to a golf tournament with him and his dad. It was called The Phoenix Open, and while I’d never heard of it, the tournament was only a few miles from my house (on the street where a few month prior I learned to drive, in fact), so my parents agreed to let me go. I only remember two things from that day: walking for what seemed like 200 miles, and some new golfer getting a hole in one.
That golfer happened to be Tiger Woods. Maybe you’ve heard of him? And that tournament is today The Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community, which is the biggest annual event in the state of Arizona by a mile (or if prone to exaggeration like me at 16, by 200 miles). Nearly $390 million is pumped into Arizona’s economy from the event, with numbers likely to hit well over $400 million before the end of the new decade.
As part of the HMA team, for two decades I’ve had the chance to work with clients on how to best be a part of what has come to be known as “The Greatest Show on Grass.” I’ve also watched as several clients took on leadership roles in the event itself, which helps raise tens of millions of dollars for local charities each year.
Last week, I had the chance to speak to a few clients involved in the event this year. The story, including WaFd Bank Arizona, Pioneer Title Agency, Quarles & Brady LLP and Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, was published last week by The Arizona 100. It’s a great look at both the measurable and immeasurable benefits of (yes, it has another nickname, too) #ThePeoplesOpen.