HSBC signs 5-year deal to sponsor Open

Tiger Woods during the 2009 WGC-HSBC Champions.

Tiger Woods during the 2009 WGC-HSBC Champions.

Continuing to increase its investment in golf, HSBC announced it has partnered with the R&A to become a major sponsor of the Open Championship.

The five-year deal designates the international financial institution as a “patron” of the major championship – which will be held at Royal St. George’s in 2011 – and as the event’s official banking partner.

During the past five years, HSBC has aggressively supported tournament golf, especially in Asia with the creation of the HSBC Champions in China. Its sponsorship launched the event in 2005, and it has since become Asia’s first World Golf Championship tournament. The bank also has supported grassroots initiatives to grow the game in China.

“Golf sponsorship continues to be an important investment tool for us to grow and sustain our business and brand,” said Giles Morgan, HSBC’s group head of sponsorship. “This new partnership is an exciting opportunity to take our current activity with professional and grassroots golf in both established and emerging markets to a new level.”

In 2010, the Open Championship attracted 200,000 spectators and generated more than 3,000 hours of television coverage to 193 countries worldwide. In addition, the tournament’s official Web site (www.opengolf.com) reported more than three million unique visitors during this year’s championship and provided 300,000 hours of streamed coverage via the Internet.

Said Peter Dawson, the R&A’s chief executive: “For many years, the R&A has looked to establish relationships that help golf’s growth globally. As the R&A seeks to engage in and support activities to grow the game, a partnership with (HSBC) is a natural progression.”

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