Indian-owned motorbike manufacturer Hero MotoCorp has extended its sponsorship of the European Tour’s ‘Hero Challenge’ for another three years and will be increasing the number of annual events from three to five.
The European Tour’s shootout format event will feature 15 times from 2020-2022 at different locations around the world. The series of five annual events will begin in 2020 with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, before moving to Europe for three more events, including at the Betfred British Masters at Close House. The series finale will take place in Dubai and will feature the winners of all four Hero Challenges from that season who will compete at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Dr Pawan Munjal, chairman of Hero MotoCorp, made the announcement during the Hero Challenge ahead of DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Played at the Atlantis, The Palm, the occasion marked the tenth edition of the Hero Challenge, which was introduced on the European Tour in 2016.
Erik van Rooyen emerged as the winner of the final Hero Challenge of 2019, which also saw Shane Lowry, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Rafa Cabrera Bello take part.
Dr Mundal said: “Golf has rapidly gained prominence at the world stage, yet there is a constant need to push the envelope and bring innovation to attract younger audiences. With this focus, we introduced the Hero Challenge on the European Tour in 2016 and this distinct format has greatly appealed to a new league of followers over the years.
“The overwhelming success of Hero Challenge has encouraged us to further strengthen our association with the European Tour and we are now hosting this event at five different venues annually until 2022. We have been immensely encouraged by the support and participation of all the icons of the game and will continue to work towards popularising the sport across the world.”
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Hero MotoCorp for a further three years and we are delighted they share our passion for innovation. Thanks to the vision of Pawan Munjal, the creation of the Hero Challenge has taken golf and our global stars to some iconic locations around the world. We are extremely excited to be expanding this concept with additional events over the next three years as we take the Hero Challenge to some spectacular new locations.”
The announcement further strengthens Hero MotoCorp’s support of the European Tour, with the company having also been title sponsor of the Hero Indian Open, a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour, since it became part of the Tour’s schedule in 2015. Hero has also supported the Women’s Indian Open since 2010, and has sponsored India’s domestic women’s professional tour.