Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
April 30, 2013: How much power does the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament have? Enough to change the balance of power on a global basis.
At least among the marketing partners for the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.
Mercedes-Benz and UPS are taking on new roles for the Masters Tournament and ExxonMobil will no longer be a partner, beginning in 2014.
According to Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, Mercedes-Benz, an international partner of the Masters since 2008, will join AT&T and IBM as a global sponsor, replacing ExxonMobil, which has been aligned with the event since 2005. Concurrently, UPS will join Rolex as an international partner in the position previously occupied by Mercedes-Benz. The total number of sponsors and partners remains unchanged.
Financial details were not disclosed.
“The relationships we form are important to our commitment of continuous improvement, and we sincerely appreciate the longtime assistance and enthusiasm of ExxonMobil for their support,” Payne said in a statement. “We now look forward to growing our associations with Mercedes-Benz and UPS, two globally recognized brands that also share a passion for the Masters and the Tournament’s sustained success.”
The 2014 Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 7-13.
For Mercedes-Benz and UPS, the worldwide marketing alliance extends for both Masters deals that had been activated in the U.S.
"The Masters is the most prestigious golf tournament in the world and this partnership aligns with our strategy to place Mercedes-Benz at the forefront of premier sporting events," Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said in a statement. "Mercedes-Benz has a long-standing history with golf and to be associated as a global sponsor of the Masters strengthens our existing ties with one of the world's most popular and widely played sports."
"The Masters is the world's most prestigious golf tournament and this aligns with our strategy to place Mercedes-Benz at the forefront of premier sporting events."
Mercedes-Benz said it supports golf globally with a portfolio of major tournaments and grassroots initiatives. The automaker recently marked a 20-year milestone in the United States for its involvement in the sport.
UPS' new position builds on its support for tournaments in Europe and Asia, including The Open Championship, the only major championship played outside the U.S. The global logistics provider also has sponsorship deals with Lee Westwood, 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and Jeev Milkha Singh.
“UPS’ association with the Masters represents a logical extension to our evolving international presence in golf,” Christine Owens, UPS svp-communications and brand management, said of the expanded alliance with The Masters.
According to Owens, for more than a decade, "UPS has been a part of the Masters, supporting its logistics needs. The sponsorship strengthens our alliance with Augusta National and gives us a strategic platform to demonstrate our logistics capabilities to our international audience. It also provides opportunities to offer once in a lifetime experiences for our valued customers and employees as we continue to build relationships and advance our core business.”
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