Four days, 69 players, and a $20 million purse. This May, 2.778 million viewers tuned in to the Wells Fargo Championship – as Rory McIlroy handily beat runner-up Xander Schauffele by five strokes. This championship-sized audience was a big win for the PGA Tour, as most of their recent events have attracted fewer than 2 million viewers.

This yearly golf tournament has been called the Wells Fargo Championship for more than 10 years (since 2011). However, Wells Fargo decided to not renew its title sponsorship when it expires this year

A company statement announced: “Wells Fargo is not renewing the Wells Fargo Championship as a Signature Event in 2025 and beyond. We are incredibly proud of the 20+ year history of the Championship. The tournament has generated significant local impact and delighted golf fans in Charlotte and across the country. Since 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship has generated more than $30 million in support of numerous charitable foundations.” 

Starting in 2025, Truist Bank will hold the title sponsorship. What impact did the tournament have on the Wells Fargo brand in its last year as title sponsor?

PGA Tour fans view Wells Fargo more positively after the tournament

After the Wells Fargo Championship, Wells Fargo’s brand equity significantly increased (+16.6) among PGA Tour fans, according to data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll

Wells Fargo Brand Equity Pre Versus Post Tournament

QuestBrand. Base: PGA Tour fans. Pre: 1/1/24-5/5/24, n=447. Post: 5/13/24-6/30/24, n=187.

Brand equity measures the value consumers see in a brand at a particular moment in time. The brand equity score is an average of four components: familiarity, quality, consideration, and momentum.

After the tournament, Wells Fargo saw all components of their brand equity rise among PGA Tour fans – brand familiarity (+15.1), perceived brand quality (+18.6), purchase/use consideration (+19.4), and perceived brand momentum (+13.2), signaling golf fans’ growing interest in the Wells Fargo brand.

Wells Fargo Brand Net “Irreplaceability” Among PGA Tour Fans – 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. 1/1/24-6/30/24. Base: General population of US adults, n=5,116. Base: PGA Tour fans, n= 653.

Even more surprising, Wells Fargo’s Irreplaceability score increased among PGA Tour fans after the Wells Fargo Championship. This score tracks whether consumers think the Wells Fargo brand could be easily replaced by a competing financial services firm. The increasing score shows that a growing number of PGA fans would miss Wells Fargo if the brand was no longer available to them.

While we can’t say whether or not Wells Fargo made the right call to not renew its title sponsorship, we can say that the Wells Fargo Championship has positively impacted how PGA Tour enthusiasts think about this financial services brand. Next year, we will have to see if Truist experiences the same surge in positive sentiment that Wells Fargo enjoyed after the popular tournament.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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