Mercedes Benz has announced at the Dubai Desert Classic, a golf tournament on the European Tour at which the brand with the star is represented as a partner, that it will be increasing its commitment to international golf. From this year Mercedes Benz will become patron of The Open Championship, a tournament with roots dating back to 1860. As a result of this move, Mercedes Benz is now represented at three of the four major golf tournaments as the exclusive automotive partner.
"Our global golf strategy is based on the Mercedes Benz principle of 'The best or nothing'. The Open Championship complements this strategy, and therefore Mercedes Benz, perfectly", explained Anders Sundt Jensen, Vice President Brand Communications, Mercedes Benz Cars. "We want to make use of this major golf tournament in particular for our various marketing activities as well as customer care measures. In addition, we will also link the MercedesTrophy, a worldwide premium amateur series, with The Open Championship, for example the programme "Drive to the Major", a global competition to win the opportunity to qualify to play at the Monday Foursome."
Mike Tate, a Director of the R&A (the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews) declared: "We are delighted to welcome Mercedes Benz aboard. As organiser of the world's largest premium amateur tournament, the MercedesTrophy, and automobile sponsor for other tournaments on the international professional calendar, it is renowned as a great supporter of the game of golf. So it is only fitting that this backing now be extended to the oldest of the 'Majors', the greatest tournament of them all."
"We're delighted that Mercedes Benz is the 'Official Car of The Open Championship'. The company will provide the exclusive chauffeur service at the major championship and together with The R&A will also provide communications support for the entire tournament.
"For our brand, this association is not only an excellent platform but also a great honour. With our commitment to this event, we very much look forward to being able to promote the close ties between the sport of golf and Mercedes Benz", said Wilfried Steffen, President and CEO of Mercedes Benz UK.
Mercedes Benz has been involved in the professional sport of golf since the 1980's. From 1990, it also took over as title sponsor of the Mercedes German Masters, the first professional golf tournament in Germany featuring international participation. In addition, the premium brand from Stuttgart was also title sponsor of the Mercedes Benz Championship in Cologne from 2007 to 2009 and Hawaii from 1999 to 2009.
Since 2008, Mercedes Benz has been the exclusive automobile partner of the most prestigious tournament in the world, The Masters in Augusta. Thanks to the connection which has existed with the PGA of America since 2010, the brand with the star is also represented at the PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship, as well as the 2012 Ryder Cup. This year Mercedes Benz's commitment to golf will increase with the addition of the partnership with The Open Championship. Furthermore, Mercedes Benz also supports a variety of both professional and amateur tournaments around the world at national level.
In amateur golf, Mercedes Benz is represented with the MercedesTrophy, the company's own global premium tournament series for amateurs, which in 2011 is taking place for the 22nd time. More than 58,000 players, in more than 43 countries, tee off each year in the MercedesTrophy. The aim of the participants is to reach the MercedesTrophy World Final at the end of September, at which the best individual players and the best team are honoured in Stuttgart, the "birthplace of the motor car", and at the same time receive an exclusive insight into the world of Mercedes Benz.
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