he only had a five year contract anyway!
5:55PM EST October 2. 2012 – It was an “ouch” day for Justin Timberlake. Shriners Hospitals for Children, sponsor of an annual Las Vegas celebrity golf tournament, ended its relationship with him in an embarrassingly public way.
“Justin’s a wonderful person,” tournament chairman Raoul Frevel told the Las Vegas Review Journal. Frevel coordinated the pop/movie star’s involvement with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas and his corresponding concerts, aimed at raising money for the group’s well-regarded hospitals.
Frevel says the Shriners tried to get the former N’Sync star to become more involved with the hospitals and the patients they serve. “But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren’t on, he disappeared.”
So after Sunday’s final round in this year’s tournament, which begins Thursday, Timberlake and the Shriners will part ways.
Timberlake did help raise millions through his concerts during the tournament in his first four years, but he wasn’t able to attract more media interest or consistently lure bigger-name players, says Frevel.
“At the time we got involved with golf, we were told by the Tour we needed a big name, and that’s how our relationship with Justin came about,” Frevel said.
“Bye, bye, Justin,” read the opening paragraph of the Review-Journal‘s story on the split.
Next year, the tournament will be known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and will be part of the Tour’s FedEx Cup series, counting toward the playoffs in 2014.
In 2013, the PGA Tour’s Vegas stop will be part of the FedEx Cup series – currently, it’s the opening event of the Fall Series and awards no points – but that won’t be the only change.
According to a report Wednesday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the event will no longer feature entertainer Justin Timberlake as tournament host. Instead, the focus will return to the hospitals and patients at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
“We’re a world-class organization,” said tournament chairman Raoul Frevel, according to the report. “At the time we got involved with golf, we were told by the Tour we needed a big name, and that’s how our relationship with Justin came about.
“Justin’s a wonderful person. But we tried everything we could to get him more involved with our kids and the hospitals. But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren’t on, he disappeared.”
To begin the transition, the Review-Journal reported that the tournament sent about 300 invitations to PGA Tour players. Each note included a personal message from a Shriners Hospital patient, asking the players to “Join the Celebration.”