Volvo Revs Up Its European Tour Sponsorship

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RESTART YOUR ENGINES: On the PGA Tour, Chrysler has the most wheels with four sponsored tournaments. In Europe, Volvo is the big car sponsor.
 
The Swedish car brand announced at last weeks Volvo PGA Championship that it will extend its three-tournament sponsorship on the PGA European Tour through 2004 ' which will complete 17 seasons as a tour sponsor for Volvo.
 
Volvo sponsors the championship at Wentworth in England, as well as the Volvo Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm, and the Volvo Masters Andalucia in Valderrama, Spain. It also sponsors the tours money list, the Order of Merit.
 
Volvo is kicking up the purse for the 2003 Volvo PGA Championship to more than $3.2 million.
 
OR YOU CAN FLY: The European Tour has named Marquis Jet Partners its preferred supplier of business jet services, all with an eye to helping players, promoters and sponsors get around the world more easily. Marquis, a London subsidiary of a U.S. company, offers a special card clients can carry that allows them 24-hour access to corporate jets without a big capital commitment.
 
Wonder if the PGA Tour will want a deal like that, too. A number of PGA Tour players already own fractional shares of private planes.
 
MORE THAN PINSTRIPES IN THE BRONX: New York City was one of the original sites planned for The First Tee program when it was unveiled nearly five years ago. Next week at Moshulu Golf Course at Jerome and Bainbridge Avenues, the citys First Tee center will open for business. Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner, and Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., First Tee executive director, will be there with city officials on Wednesday, June 5, at 10:30 a.m. to do the honors.
 
The grow-the-game initiative was announced in New Yorks Central Park in November 1997. Former president George Bush is the honorary chairman.
 
AND IN OTHER PROGRAMS: Not to be outdone, the Link Up 2 Golf program, a joint effort of the PGA of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association, is kicking off the summer with pilot programs in 80 golf courses, including some in Worcester, Mass., Toledo, Ohio, Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., Denver and Raleigh, N.C.
 
The program attacks the notions that golf is universally expensive, difficult and time-consuming. Both new and former players are welcome. Orientation, instruction, and on-course chances to try the game are all part of the agenda. Link Up is based on a program developed by Nike Golf Learning Centers and club management giant American Golf Corporation. Two-thirds of the graduates of that program played an average of 51 rounds over the next two years, say Link Up officials.
 
More information can be found at www.linkup2golf.com.