Tee Off the WMPO
Q&A with Steve Neff, vice president, strategic business development and sports marketing
What is your role in organizing the WMPO?
My primary responsibility are the contract negotiations with the PGA TOUR and many of the players. In addition,
Project Manager Marcos Ramos and myself are directly responsible for developing , organizing and implementing
our key events during the week to ensure our customers and prospects understand our commitment to sustainability.
It is amazing how many customers are transformed during the week.
What are the benefits of servicing sporting events?
Impact. The sporting venues we service throughout North America impact hundreds of thousands of spectators each year.
Once they see what we can do, these fans recognize how WM is the “go-to” company for services that make a positive
impact on the environment.
What does the WMPO mean for WM?
The event is a showcase to over 500,000 fans who attend during the week of the tournament and for the millions of fans
watching at home. Together, our message is clear — we can accomplish what no one else in our business can and
that is 100 percent diversion of material generated at the largest professional golf event in the world. Other than a Major
tournament, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the most talked about and most viewed golfing event. No matter
where we travel, golfers and non-golfers alike immediately recognize our name.
What does the WMPO mean for the PGA?
Golf, in general, has come under fire regarding the impact of the golf course on the environment. Together, the PGA
TOUR and WM are changing that perception. As I’ve always said, “Working together we can make a difference.”
Today, we’re working with the PGA TOUR to reclaim water, reduce waste, improve practical organic recycling and
give back to the communities. We’re an unconventional sponsor, in that we’re not a financial institution or luxury car
maker. However, that the PGA TOUR with a great opportunity to become an environmental sports leader.
What should every employee know about the WMPO?
As a result of our sponsorship, more citizens and corporations know us as the leader in practical environmental solutions.
We’re a trusted company that set an unrealistic goal to divert 100 percent diversion of materials and then achieved it in just
four years. Not only that, we helped 500,000 fans understand how they can have a great time watching world-class golfers
and still respect the environment.