COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and other state officials spent time leading up to the Heritage golf tournament trying to woo companies to become a sponsor for the PGA Tour event.
The State of Columbia reported Sunday that emails show Hailey and Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt consider it essential that the state find a new sponsor for the event that brings thousands of visitors to Hilton Head Island each spring.Related Stories With Heritage opening, sponsor search continues Heritage official says PGA approves funding plan SC councilwoman suggests black theme for Heritage Councilman: $30M over 5 years for Heritage Hilton Head to be featured in Heritage spots Emergency money again goes to Heritage golf ads
According to the emails, state agencies spent $10,000 to produce a marketing video to try and win over a sponsor.
State and tournament officials have yet to see any fruit from their labors, which included using a $15 million yacht that belongs to a well-known Charleston attorney to entertain executives from potential sponsor companies.
Tournament director Steve Wilmot says the golf tournament is "under the gun" to find a sponsor to replace Verizon, which dropped its sponsorship last year.
Wilmot says it is imperative to have a title sponsor to ensure the future of the Heritage. He says the tournament is talking with several companies but doesn't have a deadline for naming a sponsor.