BMW and The European Tour today announced a four-year extension to their current partnership through to the end of the 2018 season.
The agreement not only covers the German car manufacturer’s sponsorship of three tournaments on The European Tour – the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, the long-standing BMW International Open in Germany and the BMW Masters in China – but also its position as Official Car to The European Tour and as a Partner of The Ryder Cup.
The extension was formally announced at BMW’s Park Lane dealership in central London where Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, and George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, shook hands on the deal which further cements BMW’s strong global position in golf.
Dr Ian Robertson said: “The fact that we are extending all these commitments to 2018 and that we have chosen to announce this next step in our joint success story here at the BMW PGA Championship only serves to underline the significance of this event.
“It is a cornerstone of all our sponsorship commitments that we aim to create a special experience for everyone involved by highlighting BMW’s premium philosophy, while striving for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I believe we have achieved this with noteworthy success in the world of golf.”
George O’Grady said: “Ever since we began our relationship with BMW, they have been a strong and trusted partner. This new agreement once again underlines the strength in our relationship and creates a platform for us to shape the future of The European Tour over the coming years.
“BMW’s support not only of our Flagship event at Wentworth, but also key events in Germany and China, further enhances The European Tour’s strategy of expansion throughout the world and I am delighted that we have secured our partnership for a further four years.”
Following the announcement, three leading professionals; Paul McGinley, the European Ryder Cup captain, Justin Rose, the reigning US Open Champion and Matteo Manassero, the reigning BMW PGA Champion, took part in a nearest-the-pin challenge on three specially created greens in nearby Hyde Park.
They were then driven back to Wentworth to begin their preparations for this week’s BMW PGA Championship in a range of classic BMW cars, the cars spanning each decade from the 1950s to the present day in recognition of the fact that this year represents the 60th playing of the PGA Championship. This year’s championship, from May 22-25, is also the tenth time that BMW will have assumed the role of title sponsor of the flagship event on The European Tour, having taken up the mantle in 2005.
The 2014 season is also an important one for the BMW International Open whose 26th consecutive playing on The European Tour will take place at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in Cologne from June 26-29; the first quarter century having been celebrated last June at München Eichenried Golfclub where four time Major champion Ernie Els triumphed.
The year also sees the third staging of the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai from October 30 – November 2, the tournament which will once again launch the four-cornered Final Series on The European Tour.
Five weeks before that, the eyes of the entire golfing world will focus on The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland for the 40th playing of The Ryder Cup, an occasion which will see BMW once again centre stage as an Official Partner.
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