Volvo pulls sponsorship of Asian event
SINGAPORE – Asia’s top golf tour has canceled its season-ending tournament in Thailand after Volvo pulled its sponsorship.
The Swedish carmaker declined to extend its sponsorship of the Volvo Masters of Asia for 2009, Volvo Event Management chief executive Per Ericsson said.
“The current economic climate, the unstable situation surrounding Asian golf at present and recent unrest in Thailand all played a part,” Ericsson said in a statement on the Asian Tour’s Web site.
The worst global recession since World War II has undermined corporate sponsorship of sports events, including golf. Asian Tour events in India and Thailand were canceled earlier this year due to a lack of sponsors.
The “unstable situation surrounding Asian golf” referred to this year’s launch of the rival One Asia series, supported by the Australasian, Korean and Chinese golf bodies.
Thailand had also been subject to a lengthy period of political instability, culminating in the cancellation of a regional summit last month when protesters stormed the building.
Volvo sponsors the World Match Play Championship, the China Open – now a One Asia event co-sanctioned with the European Tour – and the Masters Amateur.