It came to little surprise that today Golf Canada announced they have entered into an agreement with Canadian Pacific for the sponsorship of the Canadian Women’s Open, one of the leading lights of the LPGA Tour. The tournament will now be known as the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.
On Tuesday the Twitter account for the tournament was changed to reflect the new name…leaving little doubt as to what would be announced in downtown Toronto today during a scheduled media conference.
There had also been many indications that the London Hunt & Country Club would be the host for the 2014 tournament and that has come to fruition as well.
With the Golf Canada hosting the PGA TOUR Canada Tour Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial in London in early September the London Hunt selection makes perfect sense. In a time when Golf Canada is looking to keep costs in check it will allow them to run two big tournaments in the same city within a few weeks.
It has long been speculated that CP, that is based in Calgary, would be in the running to take over from CN who still maintains a sponsor role with Golf Canada programs after 8 years as the title sponsor of the Women’s Open. CP President and CEO Hunter Harrison shifted over to CP in June of 2012. It followed a period of “retirement” for Memphis, Tennessee-born executive after leaving the role of President at CN, a position he held from 2003-2009. It was there he saw the great benefits of the LPGA affiliation.
Although only a provider of limited public services, CP’s work in corporate rail service across North America means they’ll like use as the Canadian Women’s Open platform as a way to entertain clients, etc.
“Canadian Pacific is pleased to have the opportunity to become title sponsor of the Canadian Women’s Open,” said Hunter Harrison. “Having been involved in this great championship in the past, I am well aware of the significant benefits of associating our brand to this event and to the lasting charitable legacy in the communities where we do business. Together with our dedicated team of railroaders and the support of our great customers, I am confident we will take this event to new heights and continue to preserve its status as the premier event on the LPGA Tour.”
Today’s deal comes in an active time for CP who is coming off a record third quarter and is spreading their marketing reach.
In September Canadian Pacific signed on as the title sponsor of the 2014 International at Spruce Meadows, one of the most prestigious horse show jumping events in the world. It was a three year-agreement.
The deal with Golf Canada announced today will also begin with a three-year agreement. The tournament purse will rise to $2.25M.
“On behalf of Golf Canada, the LPGA Tour and Canadian golf fans from coast to coast, I want to thank Canadian Pacific, and especially CEO Hunter Harrison, for aligning their respected brand with our National Women’s Open Golf Championship,” said Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons. “This is an exciting day as we welcome a storied institution in Canadian Pacific as a proud partner in Canadian golf.”