Crusader History – Who are the KC Crusaders?
In 2008, a group of Kansas City business leaders led by Tony Adams, former Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback, joined together to create an organization whose purpose was to bring a PGA TOUR professional golf event to Kansas City as a vehicle to support local charities, just as the Phoenix Thunderbirds have done in Phoenix for decades. These business leaders included Joe Bisogno, David Byrne, and Tray Wiltse.
In the summer of 2009, the Nationwide Tour event called “Christmas in October” was scheduled to be held at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. As the Tournament approached, the local organization running that event proved unable to provide the financial or management support necessary to run the event, and the PGA TOUR, owners of the Nationwide Tour, began looking for another local group to step in.
The Kansas City Crusaders, the name of the organization founded by Tony Adams, was approached by the PGA TOUR and asked to be the Presenting Sponsor, and essentially run the Tournament in 2009. This successful endeavor was the Crusaders' first involvement in hosting what has now become the Web.com Tour Digital Ally Open.
Later in 2009, on September 23rd, the Kansas City Crusaders incorporated as a Kansas Corporation, with the goal of operating as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Also, with the encouragement of the PGA TOUR, the decision was made by the Crusaders to host the Nationwide Tour event in Kansas City going forward, but to take a hiatus for one year to give
the Crusaders time to put together a plan and an organization necessary to run a successful Tournament. In July of 2011, the Kansas City Crusaders successfully hosted the 2011 Nationwide Tour Midwest Classic at LionsGate.
In 2012, Web.com signed a 10-year naming rights agreement with the PGA TOUR, taking Nationwide’s place. As a result, the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Tournaments were known as Web.com Midwest Classic. In 2015, the Kansas City Crusaders, the PGA TOUR and Digital Ally signed a 5-year Agreement naming Digital Ally as Title Sponsor. Therefore, the 2015 and 2016 Tournaments have been known as the Web.com Tour Digital Ally Open. The current Title Sponsor Agreement runs through 2019.
The net proceeds from the Digital Ally Open are donated to 4 primary beneficiaries - S.A.F.E. (Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund), C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), National Fallen Firefighters Association, and Children’s Mercy Hospital. Also, 100% of the proceeds of every advance ticket sold to the Digital Ally Open goes to charity.
Kansas City Crusaders Board of Directors:
Jayson Kuti - President
Matt Henderson - Past President
Jerry Hayes - Board Chairman