Wyndham A Tougher Sell In Slow Economy 2009: Sales Aint

Wyndham a tougher sell in slow economy

“(Sales) ain’t very pretty right now,” Brazil said.
“Then again, the world ain’t pretty right now. If we got close to last year (in sales) I’d consider it a major success.” Brazil said many of those companies — Harris Teeter, BB&T and VF Corp. — agreed to multi-year contracts. But he said other companies are reluctant to renew or join until they get a feel for where the economy is going. Underwriting a Tour event is no small commitment. Depending on the purse — this year’s Wyndham Championship will pay $5.2 million to its participating players — a company can easily spend as much as $8 million to reach golf’s high-dollar demographic. Sources say Wyndham arranged a favorable deal with the tour and that the company’s annual outlay is closer to $4.5 million. The rest of the money comes from smaller, local companies. And as the economy shrinks, and companies contemplate layoffs and bankruptcy, discretionary money is the first to go. The hotel and resort company posted a quarterly loss of $1.36 billion last week, largely due to its vacation ownership unit, which has had difficulty finding financing for buyers to purchase vacation properties.
“From a business viewpoint, we’d be foolish to look beyond 2009,” said Kevin Rinker, vice president of sports marketing for Wyndham Vacation Ownership. “It just wouldn’t make good business sense to look beyond the next eight months, because then we run the risk of not making this year’s tournament the best.”

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