A consortium of four medical groups and Trustmark Bank will serve as sponsors for this year’s True South Classic (formerly the Viking Classic), which will be held at Annandale July 16-22.
NewSouth NeuroSpine, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Jackson Heart Clinic and GI Associates and Endoscopy Center are the healthcare sponsors. The sponsorship deal is for one year, with a two-year option. Trustmark will be the title sponsor the pro-am, held the Wednesday before the tournament starts.
John Marovich, of the Birmingham-based Bruno Event Team who serves as tournament director, said that option either would or wouldn’t be exercised probably by the end of October, when the PGA Tour likes to have its schedule finalized.
“This is an obvious step for all four of our practices,” said NewsSouth NeuroSpine’s Dr. Jack Moriarty, of the decision to enter into a sponsorship agreement. “Being apart of this community and encouraging our citizens to live healthy lifestyles is a big part of all our missions. We think being involved with the True South Classic is a perfect extension of that.”
During tournament week, the four medical groups will have tents set up adjacent to the 18th Fairway that will offer all manner of free medical screening, including blood pressure tests, body mass index tests and flexibility screenings.
Marovich admitted that were days when it was “touch and go” as to whether this sponsorship deal would come together. “There was a period of time when we really had some doubts,” he said.
Marovich said a total of $4 million had to be rounded up to make the tournament a reality. About half of that, he said, comes from the host community, mostly in the form of sponsorships and ticket sales. The other half comes from the PGA Tour. Marovich would not disclose how much of the community’s half came from the sponsorship consortium.