SBD/Issue 241/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

RBS Ends Its Sponsorship Of The Open Championship After Nine Years

RBS Continues Paring Down Sponsorship Deals
With End Of British Open Partnership

RBS has "ended its sponsorship of The Open Championship after nine years supporting the U.K. golf event,” according to James Hall of the London TELEGRAPH. The move is the “latest in a series of changes to RBS’s sponsorship activities." The bank “already announced its withdrawal from Formula 1 sponsorship, which will take effect at the end of this season.” The bank last year ended sponsorships with golfers Luke Donald and Paula Creamer, and “ceased being an official partner of the PGA of America.” RBS reportedly “will continue to sponsor” the U.S. Open and tennis player Andy Murray, while Jack Nicklaus and former F1 driver Jackie Stewart will continue to serve as brand ambassadors. RBS said that it will "review its remaining sponsorship contracts as they expire." RBS reportedly had paid US$1.55M annually for its sponsorship of The Open Championship (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 8/27). In Scotland, Martyn McLaughlin wrote the decision, "reached by mutual agreement with golf’s governing body, brings to an end the bank’s role as patron of The Open,” which began in ’02. RBS’ relationship with the R&A “goes back more than a century, and it will continue to be the group’s banker” (THE SCOTSMAN, 8/28). An R&A spokesperson said that no “replacement had been found yet,” but added that the R&A “is constantly in conversation with companies interested in joining The Open Patrons programme” (Scottish DAILY RECORD, 8/27).

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