WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The 2014 Greenbrier Classic kicks off Monday. Tens of thousands of people from across the world will make their way to West Virginia to watch the PGA event. The field is filled with past champs and some of the biggest names in golf.

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, a guest on MetroNews Talkline last week, said the event is more than just a sporting event. It is a week-long advertisement for the state of West Virginia. From newspaper to radio to magazine and TV coverage, the state is in the spotlight

Burdette estimated the state spent about $200,000 in advertising time for the final day of the Classic in 2013 which aired on CBS and the Golf Channel.

“We spent a couple hundred thousand dollars for 90 seconds on CBS and the rest of the day was free. Because the folks, Jim Nance and the whole group from CBS and the Golf Channel they couldn’t be effusive of their praise and admiration for the state of West Virginia,” according to Burdette.

He said you can’t buy that kind of advertising. That’s why they have a similar deal with both networks again this year.

Burdette said the state will also spend some money flying business executives into the Greenbrier for the week of the tournament. He said it pays off in the end.

“When we get them to come to West Virginia and watch a golf match, we get to bend their ear for two or three days. That is a whole lot better than cold calls and trying to get into somebody’s office,” stressed Burdette.

Prospective investors not only take in the golf game but the food, the beauty of the region, the friendly people and the possibilities of locating a business in West Virginia.

Burdette says the Greenbrier Classic’s business benefits to the state are uncalculable.