The new sponsor is ISPS Handa, founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.
The Ladies European Tour Order of Merit will now be known as the ISPS Handa Order of Merit and at the end of the season there will be a bonus of 20,000 euro for the top ranked golfer, to be awarded by Dr. Handa.
The 2012 Ladies European Tour season kicks off this week with the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters taking place at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast inQueenslandfrom 2-5 February and this will be the first event to count towards the 2012 ISPS Handa Order of Merit.
The next event will be the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open from 9-12 February and then the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open, hosted byChristchurch, from 17-19 February.
The International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) is also the title sponsor of the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters, taking place from 16-18 August, just after The Olympic Games and before the Paralympic Games.
ISPS Chairman Dr Haruhisa Handa said: “ISPS is delighted to become title sponsor of the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit. Given that ISPS is already the title sponsor of three tournaments on the 2012 Ladies European Tour schedule this year, it seemed a natural progression to a extend our relationship with women’s professional golf.
“The ISPS Handa Order of Merit acts as an important benchmark for the players and will offer an ideal opportunity for ISPS to further promote our mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport.”
Commenting on the new partnership, LET executive director Alexandra Armas said: “The deal with ISPS Handa is excellent for the Ladies European Tour and the bonus for the winner of the Order of Merit will provide an extra incentive for the LET members to play their best all year.
“ISPS Handa has become a loyal and generous supporter of the LET in recent years and we are delighted to be associated with them and its exciting mission for Paralympic golf.”
After a mutually successful six year association, Henderson Global Investors’ sponsorship of the LET has ceased.Hendersonis taking a new marketing direction focused on advertising and a new strategic approach that does not include sponsorship.
Richard Wilson, Marketing Director at Henderson Global Investors said: “We have been delighted to work with the Ladies European Tour for so many years and hope that the Tour continues to grow and develop, particularly following the recent Solheim Cup victory forEurope. We are proud of what has been achieved in the last six years of our sponsorship and we wish everyone at the LET and who plays on the LET the best of luck for the future.”
Ladies European Tour www.ladieseuropeantour.com