BMW Masters, China

As of this season, BMW will present the golfing world with another highlight – the BMW Masters. Led by world number one Rory McIlroy, the sport’s top stars will assemble at Shanghai’s Lake Malaren Golf Club from 25th to 28th October, where they will fight it out for a share of the seven million dollar prize purse.

Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Marketing and Sales, BMW Group distribution channels, made the announcement at the Beijing Auto Show on Monday afternoon. “As the name indicates, the BMW Masters will play a particularly significant role in BMW’s commitment to the sport as a ‘Global Golf Player’,” said Robertson, introducing the concept of the tournament. “The BMW Masters is another highlight in our sustainable global golf strategy. China is a key market for BMW and golf is the ideal stage, on which to present our brand values of dynamics and precision. We are delighted to be able to offer our customers and spectators from throughout Asia a top-class event – both in terms of the sport on offer and the overall visitor experience.”
The BMW Masters will take its place on the European Tour calendar and, after the Majors, World Golf Championships and the season finale in Dubai, will be the most lucrative event on the Tour. The exclusive field will consist of about 78 players, the majority of whom feature in the top 100 in the world ranking list. The remaining start places will be taken four players invited directly by the organisers and a 14-man contingent from the Chinese Golf Association (CGA), with whom BMW is cooperating on the organisation of the tournament.

“I am already looking forward to teeing off at the new tournament,” said McIlroy. The world number one is not only the reigning US Open Champion, but also won last year’s Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters, which is now being replaced by the BMW Masters. At the tournament presentation, McIlroy’s fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke symbolically teed off from the BMW stand using an explosive golden ball. As well as the “Claret Jug”, the British Open winner also brought the “old” trophy with him. Clarke was the last man to win the BMW Asian Open in 2008. As such he will, to a certain degree, line up as defending champion in Lake Malaren.

Clarke recalled his emotional success back in 2008. “I still have very vivid memories of what was a great tournament,” he said. The victory brought to an end a five-year winless streak for the Major winner. Clarke’s past history at the event means he is particularly pleased to see BMW returning to China. “I cannot praise the BMW’s commitment to golf highly enough. For years BMW has demonstrated around the world just how close the game is to the brand’s heart. Golf would be in a far worse state without the involvement of BMW. We professionals all really appreciate what the company is doing for the game.”

As far back as the start of the millennium, BMW was one of the first brands in the world to promote and encourage the growing enthusiasm for the sport in Asia. In 2001 the company responded to the growth in popularity by organising a professional tournament: the BMW Asian Open, which was also held in Shanghai.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of the European Tour, expressed his delight at the new BMW commitment. “We are proud of many partnerships we enjoy across the world of golf, but one of the most enduring is with BMW for whom this tournament represents the third title sponsorship on The European Tour in 2012, and the 45th in total over the past 23 years since the first BMW International Open in Munich in 1989. BMW is renowned for its commitment to innovation and exceptional standards of excellence in promoting professional golf tournaments, and the visit to Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai in October will once again underline that fact. Additionally The European Tour has always been made to feel so welcome by the Chinese Golf Association with whom we also have a strong committed partnership.”

Dr. Ian Robertson, George O’Grady, Zhang Xiao-ning (Vice President and General Secretary of the CGA) and Shi Jian, CEO of the SRE Group, parent company of the Lake Malaren Golf Club Shanghai, were greeted by a round of applause as they signed the tournament contract, thus finalising the long-term agreement between BMW, the European Tour and the CGA.

Zhang Xiao-ning thanked BMW for its involvements: “We admire the outstanding vision and shrewd market investment of BMW Group. The BMW Masters will play a positive role in promoting the popularization and development of the world and China golf games, as well as taking the competitiveness of golf to a new level. At the same time, I hope all the contestants to present the charisma of golf for the fans giving their best performances.”


About davidmorganjenkins
I am an experienced international, commercial, strategic business leader delivering customer focussed initiatives for world class leisure & sports brands. I have a credible track record of leadership and senior management experience in particular with business operations, marketing & business development within leisure, sport, ecommerce/retail & B2C sectors. I have a unique creative vision, supported by sound financial management & budgetary responsibility having increased brand awareness, sales & core revenue by 60% & profit 200 % at Football Aid over a 3 year period. In parallel, I am centred on attention to detail ensuring a consistent product offering and the greatest possible customer experience. This is delivered through strong collaborative teamwork and creating a culture of creativity, determination and enthusiasm amongst team members. I possess an ability to cement & develop relationships at all levels and can easily engage, report to & upwardly manage share & stakeholder alliances ensuring delivery of business objectives. Key skills Developing & implementing business plans focussing on sales, profits & volume Bringing sales & marketing strategy to life to inspire customers; making visions/dreams a reality Customer service; driving enhanced customer satisfaction & delivering a reputation for excellence Developing, influencing & implementing plans & partnerships that deliver competitive advantage Effective planning & delivery of multiple channel, venue & geographical programmes & projects Leading & managing operation, marketing & business development teams to believe in their ability to succeed Experience headlines Commercial; sales, strategy, development, marketing, sponsorship, promotion, customers service Business administration: P&L, performance, improvement & operational management Marketing & brand; communications, brand management, development & membership/loyalty Ecommerce & retail; FMCG, optimisation, data (CRM), social media, SEO, PPC & affiliates Technology; CRM, web TV, new media, smart phone/iPhone applications

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