Mercedes-Benz Extends Sorenstams Pact

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Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has extended its endorsement agreement with LPGA star Annika Sorenstam through 2005, company officials have announced. The current agreement, which began at the 'Battle at Bighorn' in July 2001, was scheduled to end this year. Terms of the extension were not released.
 
MBUSA's sponsorship of Sorenstam is part of a greater strategy to reach out to female buyers, officials said. In addition to sponsoring the LPGA's Golf Clinics for Women series, MBUSA developed the Mercedes-Benz Women's Golf Day, an annual, full-day instructional and exhibition experience focused on loyal customers and prospects, utilizing Sorenstam as the centerpiece of the program.
 
MBUSA will continue to utilize Sorenstam as part of the Mercedes-Benz Women's Golf Day initiative, officials said, but will also look to expand her visibility with the brand through a more integrated marketing approach, including web-based initiatives.
 
Sorenstam already has three LPGA Tour victories in 2003, including the McDonald's LPGA Championship, the Office Depot and the Kellogg-Keebler Classic.
 
MBUSA also has endorsement deals with Ernie Els and Jeff Sluman on the PGA Tour, and with Doug Tewell on the Champions Tour. The relationship with Els began this year at the Masters, while Sluman and Tewell have been sponsored by Mercedes since 2000.