Hyundai signs 3-year title sponsorship for 2011 PGA Tour

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 8, 2010

The upcoming PGA Tour's season opening tournament will have Hyundai Motor Co. as its title sponsor under the three-year deal that the carmaker has signed recently. The tournament, which will be held the first week of January 2011 at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii, will be known as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, according to the joint statement from Hyundai and the PGA.

The tournament was previously known as the SBS Championship, after a 10-year sponsorship deal was inked last year by the PGA and Seoul Broadcasting System International.

However, SBS will continue to be a tournament sponsor. With this sponsorship, Hyundai is thrust into the same level as other automotive brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Buick and Infiniti that have previously sponsored PGA tournaments.

This also marks Hyundai's latest effort to utilize professional sports as way to boost marketing. Hyundai has been seen quite a lot lately. It was the global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And in the Super Bowl last February, its ads also ran.

Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik revealed that the brand's title sponsorship of the traditional season-opening tournament of the PGA TOUR allows it to mirror the competitive drive it has with the world-class athletes participating.

The sponsorship ensured that the tournament champion will arrive in real luxury, Krafcik shared. It will also serve to showcase to the fans of the sport its interpretation of what intelligent luxury is with the Hyundai Equus, added Krafcik.

The season-opening limited-field event was originally called the SBS Championship and first introduced during the 1953 Tournament of Champions held at the Las Vegas Desert Inn Country Club. This went on until the event changed the title by 1994.

In addition, the Tournament of Champions was held at that location until 1967 after which it then moved to the Stardust Country Club. By 1969 it moved again to the La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, California, before finally going to Kapalua by 1999.

PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem shared that the organization is happy that Hyundai is part of the PGA TOUR family. In different discussions conducted, Finchem added, Hyundai revealed that it wanted to maintain the brand's momentum in the U.S. and strengthen its position in the Asian market. By sponsoring the tile, Hyundai is sure to meet these goals, Finchem concluded.

Press Release

Hyundai New Title Sponsor of PGA TOUR's Season-Opening Event

The PGA TOUR, Hyundai Motor America and Seoul Broadcasting System International (SBS) today announced that Hyundai has become the title sponsor of the PGA TOUR's season-opening tournament at The Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii for the next three years.

As part of this agreement and commencing with the 2011 tournament, the event is being renamed the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, reintroducing the tournament's original moniker that highlights the exclusive field of PGA TOUR tournament winners from the prior season. This title sponsorship continues Hyundai's "Big Voices in Big Places" strategy, positioning the Hyundai brand in the highest profile advertising venues including the NFL's Super Bowl, an exclusive automotive sponsorship of the Academy Awards and a global sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

"Hyundai's title sponsorship of the PGA TOUR's traditional season-opening tournament aligns our brand with world-class athletes who mirror our own competitive drive," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "This sponsorship ensures that every champion at the tournament will arrive in luxury, and the fans that follow the sport will be exposed to an all-new interpretation of intelligent luxury, the Hyundai Equus."

Formerly known as the SBS Championship, this season-opening limited-field event was originally introduced as the Tournament of Champions in 1953 at Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas and maintained the Tournament of Champions identity until its title change in 1994. The Tournament of Champions remained at Desert Inn Country Club until 1967, when it moved to Stardust Country Club. The "T of C" then moved to La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, Calif. in 1969, where it remained until moving to Kapalua in 1999.

"We are delighted to welcome Hyundai to the PGA TOUR family," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "In our discussions, Hyundai expressed interest in continuing its brand momentum throughout the U.S., as well as further strengthening its position in Asia. This title sponsorship will help accomplish these goals."

After discussions with the PGA TOUR and SBS, Hyundai agreed to partner with both as the title sponsor of the event. SBS, the former title sponsor of the event, will continue its involvement with the tournament based on its original 10-year sponsorship agreement announced in May 2009. Under that agreement, SBS will underpin the tournament through 2019. SBS will have hospitality and other on-site activities.

SBS also will continue to broadcast PGA TOUR tournaments in Korea through 2019. SBS has been a broadcast partner of the PGA TOUR for more than 15 years.

Two-time defending champion Geoff Ogilvy of Australia will look to three-peat at the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Monday, January 3 through Sunday, January 9, 2011, with four full days of coverage on the Golf Channel.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through about 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Topics: hyundai, sponsorship

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