John Deere Cancels Post-Golf Party, But Defends Northern Trust

By Jenny Berg March 2, 2009, 11:52 AM EST

Even before Northern Trust's Sheryl Crow-scored bash became the subject of scathing editorials, John Deere had put the kibosh on a post-party for its July PGA tournament, Crain's Chicago Business reported on Friday.

According to the report, John Deere had an inkling that the then-current economy may affect its fund-raising events several months ago, when Buick backed out of a planned sponsorship of the golf tournament. (“Maybe [Buick anticipated] the bad press that would come if they took bailout money and gave free cars to golfers," Crain's ventured.)

Ultimately, the John Deere Classic will benefit from the sponsorship of ten local dealers, who “banded together because they understand the importance of the event to the community,” said Clair Peterson, director of the tournament. He added that the happening attracts 10,000 guests and exerts a ”$15-to-$20 million impact on the community.”

Of the Northern Trust scandal, Peterson said: “One point that's getting lost in all this [press backlash] is that these tournaments raise millions of dollars for charity. That's why a title sponsor gets involved." 

But while the golf tournament may have a non-frivolous side, its after-party is an estimated $11,000 expenditure John Deere will have to forsake this year. After all, Peterson said, “the economy's hit everyone.”

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