Haley, SC officials work to find Heritage sponsor

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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.

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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.