SBJ/February 20 - 26, 2006/Marketingsponsorship

Mercedes extends tournament partnership

Mercedes-Benz has renewed its title sponsorship for the PGA Tour golf tournament at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii for the next four years, said Chris Smith, the tour’s director of public relations. Smith declined to disclose the financial terms.

Mercedes-Benz has sponsored the tournament,
now held in Hawaii, since 1994.
The German luxury automaker, owned by DaimlerChrysler, has sponsored the tournament since 1994. The Mercedes Championships field is limited to golfers who won PGA Tour titles the previous season.

Sponsoring a PGA Tour event continues to make sense for the automobile manufacturer because golf is the “No. 1 lifestyle interest of our consumer base,” said Carol Goll, general manager of brand exposure marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA.

The 2006 event awarded $5.4 million in prize money. Next year’s total hasn’t been announced. Tournament dates are Jan. 4-7.

The Mercedes Championships tournament dates to 1953, when it was known as the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. The event moved to Carlsbad, Calif., in 1969 and relocated again in 1999 to The Plantation Course on Maui.

In other PGA Tour news, Nissan North America extended its sponsorship for the Nissan Open in Los Angeles through 2010. Nissan has sponsored the event since 1987. Financial terms were not disclosed. Next year’s Nissan Open dates are Feb. 15-18.

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