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PGA event aids new jobs development

John Seelmeyer
jseelmeyer@nnbw.biz

Barracuda Networks plans to host a plethora of prospective and existing clients during the PGA Tour event that opens this week at Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno.

And nothing could make organizers of the event happier as they view the newly dubbed Barracuda Championship as an important element in the effort to diversity the region’s economy.

John Sande III, who serves as chair of the Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation when he’s not working as director of the Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas law firm in Reno, explains the tournament’s role in economic development this way:

“I’ve always thought that not enough people know what a great place Reno is. Montreux is phenomenal on TV, and the event brings us a lot of exposure.”

The Golf Channel televises the tournament.

And if the event can bring visitors — well-heeled corporate executives, for instance — to the region, so much better for economic development efforts.

Executives of the Economic Development Authority of Northern Nevada often say the single most important factor in recruiting new employers is getting decision-makers to pay a visit.

Barracuda Networks Inc., which provides cloud-connected security and storage solutions to information technology professionals, plans to bring many of them to town during the tournament that runs July 28-August 3.

“Combining prospective with existing customers in a personally interactive and exciting environment is a strategy that has greatly impacted our business and will continue to build our business going forward,” says Marc Wolfe, the company’s vice president for marketing.

The company’s sponsorship — it inked a four-year deal — also provides a solid base for the golf tournament. In its 16-year history, it’s operated with a title sponsor for only two years.

Sande says the PGA Tour had been scouting for a title sponsor for the northern Nevada event, and Barracuda was looking to widen its presence in sports marketing.

Reno-Tahoe Open officials were enthusiastic about sponsorship by a technology company, a move that further helps develop the reputation of northern Nevada as a home for tech companies, Sande says.

And they like the fact that Barracuda Networks, headquartered in the South Bay city of Campbell, Calif., is close enough that the company and its customers can hop quickly over to the tournament.

Barracuda executives paid a visit to the Reno-Tahoe Open last year and started negotiating with the PGA Tour. “As with any new media venture, there were many steps involved to ensure both parties’ requirements were being met at the right investment level,” Wolfe says. “We were able to come to terms in relatively short order once we were in agreement that the benefits for everyone involved were mutual.”

Financial details and other terms weren’t disclosed.


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