HSBC signs deal with British Open HSBC Private Bank has agreed to a "partnership with the golf division of IMG Worldwide," according to Tara Loader Wilkinson of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The agreement is the "latest step in a five-year plan by HSBC to build up a global golf strategy, culminating in two five-year sponsorship deals with leading events." HSBC will become "title sponsor at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship next January and at the 2011 British Open in July." It also will become the official patron of the British Open, replacing RBS, which "ended its partnership with the tournament after nine years." The partnership with IMG will allow HSBC Holdings PLC's global private-banking division to "pitch its wealth advisory services to the agency's star-studded roster of athletes, while offering the bank's best clients an opportunity to play in pro-am competitions with the world's elite golfers and attend the most exclusive players' events." A source said HSBC will provide "millions" in sponsorship. An IMG spokesperson indicated that the bank will boost the prize money for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by $500,000 to $2.7M. Mark Pannes, Dir of the global sports group at HSBC Private Bank, said that the deal also will "complement the bank's aggressive foray into the Asian high net-worth market" (WSJ.com, 12/12).
Ralph Lauren sponsors British Open As part of the agreement, Ralph Lauren will outfit all officials and staff members at The Open Championship. The Company will provide a complete selection of RLX Golf and Polo Golf apparel for men and women as well as an assortment of Ralph Lauren Childrenswear in the on-site retail pavilion area. In addition, Ralph Lauren will create a dedicated Polo Golf men’s collection celebrating the Royal Lytham & St. Annes 2012 Open Championship. The company joins Doosan, HSBC, Mercedes Benz, Nikon and Rolex as an Official Patron of The Open Championship.
Rolex signs deal with British Open Rolex’s commitment began in the capacity of official timekeeper; however the brand became a Patron of The Open in 2002. After the partnership was extended in 2004, Rolex’s support was expanded to sponsoring the publication of the English language version of the Rules of Golf and its global distribution.