NEW LOGO FEATURES SIGNATURE, UMBRELLA
Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard Highlights Classic Symbols Associated With Tournament's Legendary Host
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The new logo of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, unveiled today by tournament director Scott Wellington, combines two classic symbols of Arnold Palmer – his looping, easy-to-read signature and his trademark multi-colored umbrella logo.
"His signature is arguably the most recognizable in all of sport, and we obviously wanted something that said Arnold Palmer. There was no need to reinvent the wheel," said Wellington.
The PGA Tour event, which has been played since 1979 at Palmer's Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida, most recently was known as the Bay Hill Invitational. MasterCard became the presenting sponsor in 2004. Invacare, Hertz and UBS are associate sponsors of the tournament.
"The new imagery captures the style and sophistication of someone who has done so much for the game of golf," said Alan Heuer, COO, MasterCard International Incorporated. "As an organization, MasterCard is even more proud to help bring to golf fans the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard – and to be such an integral part of its new look and moniker."
The Arnold Palmer signature and the umbrella logo are both recognized worldwide as signs of excellence, not only of a famous professional golfer, but also for quality merchandise.
Palmer takes pride and great care in his signature, saying, "I have always felt very strongly that if someone thinks enough of me that they want my autograph, I should provide one that they can read. Very little irritates me more these days than to see the illegible autographs that some people give out."
The umbrella idea came from Palmer in a 1960s brain-storming session with his business manager, the late Mark McCormack, other lawyers and marketing experts. The focus of the meeting was on the need for some unique golf article as a logo. "How about an umbrella?" Palmer interjected. "A golf umbrella."
Everyone agreed that the umbrella was one piece of golf equipment not claimed by someone else, and after clearance through a trademark search, the Arnold Palmer logo became the four-paneled, multi-colored umbrella, always tilted to the right, that has been promoted ever since on products and clothing around the world.
Palmer has told the story of registering at a hotel not too many years ago in Hong Kong, and signing his name. "The clerk looked at it and beamed widely at me and said, "Ah, you bring more Arnold Palmer shirts!" Palmer related. "For a moment I was confused, and then it came to me. He had no clue that Arnold Palmer was in fact a golfer."
The new name for the tournament was announced on March 8 by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who said at the time, "We have been discussing the possibility of a name change with Arnold and his family – Arnold has been the face of the tournament for a number of years, and it makes sense that it bears his name to honor his countless contributions to the tournament and to the PGA Tour."
Palmer said then, "It has been a matter of great pride for me when my name was placed on an entity of one sort or another over the years, but I can't think of anything that brings me more pleasure and satisfaction than having it on the tournament that has meant so much to me for so long."
The Arnold Palmer Invitational is scheduled in 2007 for March 15-18. The defending champion will be Rod Pampling, and other past winners include Tiger Woods (four times), Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Kenny Perry, Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Paul Azinger, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, and Fuzzy Zoeller.