Mitsubishi renews deal for Champions' season opener

John Cook on the 18th tee at the Mitsubishi Championship.

John Cook on the 18th tee at the Mitsubishi Championship.

The PGA Tour’s portfolio of marketing partners is expansive and varied, but few would guess that it even includes a sponsorship to be the circuit’s “official elevator and escalator.”

On Monday, the Tour not only secured a partner for that designation but renewed a title sponsor for the Champions Tour’s season-opening event in Hawaii. Mitsubishi Electric agreed to both deals, which run through 2015.

The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, set for Jan. 16-22, 2012, features a field that includes the past two seasons’ tournament champions and senior major championship winners from the past five years.

Though known mostly for its consumer electronics, Mitsubishi Electric has U.S. operations that include nearly a dozen companies and manufacture an array of commercial and industrial products. Among them are: factory automation equipment, heating and air conditioning systems, stadium displays, and elevators and escalators.

The company has used its relationships with the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour to showcase its various products. In May 2007, Mitsubishi Electric rolled out its Diamond Vision LED scoreboards at The Players Championship and now provides the display at nearly every tournament. As part of the new agreement, Diamond Vision scoreboards will be introduced at all Champions Tour stops in 2013.

The Mitsubishi Electric Championship has kicked off the Champions Tour season since 1997. Its impact on Hawaii’s Big Island community has been significant: The event has donated almost $650,000 to various island charities.

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