Morgan Stanley is in the final year of its contract as presenting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament.

Morgan Stanley is in the final year of its contract as presenting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament.

Given the current economic conditions on a worldwide basis, discussions pertaining to a contract extension will become a priority once this year's event concludes, tournament director Dan Sullivan said. If a deal is not worked out, Memorial officials will have little choice but to look elsewhere.

"In today's business model, almost all of the (PGA Tour's) tournaments need and work very hard to maintain a lead sponsor," Sullivan said. "That's where we're at in today's economy."

One doesn't have to look far to see how even the most recognizable names in the corporate world continue scaling back such sponsorships, Buick included following General Motors' bankruptcy filing last year.

Buick was the named sponsor of two tournaments. Farmers Insurance Group stepped in just 10 days before the opening round of last February's event formerly known as the Buick Invitational at Torre Pines Golf Course outside San Diego. The former Buick Open, which annually fell on the schedule between the British Open in July and PGA Championship in August, has not been replaced.

Elsewhere, FedEx recently announced it was ending a long relationship with college football's Orange Bowl. FedEx has sponsored that game since 1990, making it the longest continuous sponsor of any of the NCAA bowls.

"This was a difficult decision, but (it's) one that allows us to focus and redirect our marketing efforts toward our other sports properties and marketing initiatives," the company said in a news release.

Closer to home, marketing efforts at the Memorial have been ramped up in recent years. At one time not all that long ago, badges for the four tournament rounds were nearly as hard to come by as Ohio State football tickets. Prices have since dropped as availability increased, and today a fan can buy a badge good for the entire tournament for $155. That's down from $170 just two years ago, and it includes a free one-day practice round admission for a friend.

"All of central Ohio knows we need their support," Sullivan said. "And in return, we work hard at this end to ensure patrons are getting their value's worth."

Morgan Stanley has been the Memorial's presenting sponsor since 2003, when an affiliation with Marsh & McLennan ended. Dean Witter, which merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997, preceded Marsh & McLennan as the tournament's lead sponsor.

"It's been a nice, long relationship," Sullivan said. "Where it goes from here, we'll see."