Tour lands NEC to back Latin American circuit
The PGA Tour Latinoamerica has gained NEC Corp. as an umbrella sponsor, a milestone deal underscoring the circuit's potential and the region's promise for golf and industry.
The agreement, announced April 24 by the PGA Tour and NEC, takes effect immediately and changes the name of the circuit to NEC Series – PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
NEC, which specializes in the integration of IT and network technologies, has a long history with the PGA Tour. The umbrella sponsorship represents a significant upgrade from the company's current investment in the Latin American tour – title sponsorship of the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational, which is being played this week at the Club de Golf Uruguay.
For 15 years through 1998, NEC served as sponsor of the PGA Tour's World Series of Golf at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, and then backed the tournament for an additional seven years after it became a World Golf Championships event.
“As a former World Golf Championships sponsor, NEC well understands the importance and effectiveness of sponsorship for golf tournaments. The NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamerica will expand NEC’s presence in Latin America and beyond," said Carlos Martinangeli, chief operating officer and senior vice president of NEC Latin America.
The PGA Tour embraced the region's potential – and the opportunity to expand its brand reach – by partnering with the Tour de Las Americas to create the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in 2012. The inaugural season featured 11 tournaments during the fall and winter in seven countries: Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
This year, the tour's schedule has expanded to 15 events in nine countries. The tour also serves as a pipeline for talent development: The top 5 money winners from the PGA Tour Latinoamerica's Order of Merit earn Web.com Tour status for the next season.