By Shane McGinley
Five-year deal will see the PGA event renamed Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
HSBC has signed a five-year deal to be the title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi PGA European Tour event, marking the first international title sponsorship of an Abu Dhabi sporting event, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has confirmed.
The deal will see the tournament renamed the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
The PGA event will be held on January 20 to 23 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and, in a bid to attract at least five of the world’s top ten players to the event, the 2011 prize fund has been increased by $500,000 to $2.7m.
Confirmed for participation is Martin Kaymer, the current US PGA Championship title holder, world number five and winner of the Abu Dhabi event in 2008 and 2010.
He will compete against world number three, Lee Westwood, and two-time Abu Dhabi Champion, Paul Casey, who have also both confirmed their attendance.
“Golf is a very important part of HSBC's marketing programme and the Middle East is a key region to the bank's business. We have seen significant growth of our business and brand through our global golf sponsorship programme in recent years,” said Simon Cooper, deputy chairman and CEO, Middle East and North Africa, HSBC.
"The tie-up with HSBC will also take news of the championship to the bank's impressive network of 8,000 offices in 87 countries, 220,000 shareholders in 119 countries and over 110 million customers worldwide - a compelling reach," said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, ADTA's director general and chairman of the championship committee.
HSBC’s sponsorship is addition to other sponsors including Etihad Airways, Al Naboodah, Emirates Palace hotel, Etisalat, Airbus, Xerox, CNN and Rolex.
This is fantastic news - the Abu Dhbai Golf Championship really is a world class event now...and brilliant to attend. Well done to those involved