Sep 22, 2010 at 12:35 PM
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'World's Local Bank' To Be First Int'l Title Sponsor of an Abu Dhabi Sporting Event

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and HSBC have entered into a five-year partnership which sees the bank become title sponsor of Abu Dhabi's flagship PGA European Tour event, marking the first title sponsorship of an Abu Dhabi sporting event by an international company.

"This partnership ushers in a new era for the championship and golf in Abu Dhabi," said His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA. "It is in many ways a coming of age for the championship and for Abu Dhabi's ambitions as a credible golfing destination.

"This is a coming together of two organisations which share considerable synergies. Both have a diverse and inclusive culture and an uncompromising commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices taking responsibility for the social and environmental impact of their operations. Both also have an abiding commitment to community engagement. It is a meeting of minds in which we see a world of potential."

The new Abu Dhabi partnership builds on HSBC's burgeoning portfolio of international golfing tournament sponsorships. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is the bank's first golfing title partnership in the Middle East.

Paul Casey, the current world number seven, believes the partnership will be a major boost for golf in the emirate.

"In the ADTA and HSBC we have two wonderful supporters of world golf who are both very forward thinking in their implementation making their tournaments stand out above the rest. I think they will be an amazing combination," said Casey.

HSBC's marketing platform of 'Championing Golf Worldwide' now includes junior, amateur and professional programs in more than 25 countries including the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

"ADTA has been very generous in welcoming us as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship's title sponsor. Golf is a very important part of HSBC's marketing programme and the Middle East is a key region to the bank's business. We have seen significant growth of our business and brand through our global golf sponsorship programme in recent years and we feel ADTA has established a top-tier event of the highest quality that fits extremely well with our brand," said Simon Cooper, Deputy Chairman and CEO, Middle East and North Africa, HSBC.

Looking to attract the championship's biggest ever spectator turnout, ADTA has promised a substantially expanded championship village with more attractions, restaurants, cafes and competitions.

"Our determination to build both the championship's playing field and the spectator offering is a clear signal of our intention to consolidate Abu Dhabi's mounting credentials as a golfing and leisure destination of distinction," said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, ADTA's Director General and Chairman of the Championship Committee.

"The tie-up with HSBC will also take news of the championship to the bank's impressive network of 8,000 offices in 87 countries, 220,000 shareholders in 119 countries and over 110 million customers worldwide - a compelling reach."

George O'Grady CBE, the Tour's Chief Executive, said: "This championship has quickly established itself as an extremely popular event on The European Tour international schedule, with our members continuing to enjoy outstanding hospitality and a superb, challenging golf course. HSBC is a strong long-term partner of both the Tour and IMG, and we are delighted that it has signed a five-year agreement to title-sponsor the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The increased prize fund of $2,700,000 in 2011 will provide a solid platform to launch a run of four exceptional weeks in the Gulf next January."

Other sponsors of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship include Etihad Airways, Al Naboodah, Emirates Palace hotel, Etisalat, Airbus, Xerox, CNN and Rolex.