On the opening day of what promises to be an interesting Annual General Meeting for the Royal Canadian Golf Association, especially in regards to finances, the group revealed details this morning about their newly expanded partnership with RBC. The official release just hit our inbox.
RBC announces new funding initiative to support Canadian pros advancing to LPGA and PGA TOUR
PGA TOUR players Stephen Ames and Mike Weir become ‘Team RBC’ Ambassadors
TORONTO, January 21, 2010 — RBC today announced a significant extension of its golf sponsorship programs that will help fund and enhance grassroots and developmental programs across Canada.
Building Canadian Competitive Golf Excellence
Already the title sponsor for Canada’s national golf championship, the RBC Canadian Open, RBC will help fund Team Canada, the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s high performance national amateur golf team program. RBC will also contribute support to the resurgence of Canada’s national amateur golf championships, conducted by the RCGA.
“We are proud to support the RCGA’s vision to drive excellence in competitive amateur golf, building on the recent accomplishments of national team players like Nick Taylor, Matt Hill and Jennifer Kirby at the collegiate, national and international level,” said Jim Little, RBC chief brand and communications officer. “Extending our support to Canada’s national amateur championships not only allows talented Canadian players to compete in world class competitions on home soil, but also offers so many more golf enthusiasts and volunteers across the country the long-term opportunity to get involved and be a part of this great sport.”
“We applaud RBC for their long-term vision in supporting an environment that will build competitive golf excellence in Canada,” said Scott Simmons, RCGA executive director and CEO. “Programs that promote grassroots and amateur competition as well as those that help support training and high performance opportunities are critical to Canadian golfers developing their competitive potential.”
Supporting Emerging Talent
RBC also announced plans to deepen its relationships with Canada’s emerging and established touring professionals.
RBC is creating a new initiative to help young male and female professional golfers make the jump to the professional ranks on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Beginning in 2010, RBC has created a new initiative to support emerging Canadian professionals making the transition to the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour — including 2010 graduates Graham DeLaet and Chris Baryla on the PGA TOUR, and Lisa Meldrum and Samantha Richdale on the LPGA Tour — by providing a combination of funding and tailored, comprehensive financial planning and private banking services through its RBC Sports Professionals program. Athletes who elect to sign up for the program will become RBC ambassadors and carry corporate branding on their golf bags as they compete each week on the world’s stage.
“This step is a very important element of my development as a professional and my hat is off to RBC for taking a leadership role here and identifying the need,” said DeLaet. “It’s clear they really get it and are doing an admirable job connecting all the dots through support of Canadian player development from the grassroots all the way up to those of us fortunate enough to make the leap to the PGA TOUR. I’m pleased to be joining their program and am looking forward to meeting everyone on their team.”
Weir, Ames Join Team RBC
In addition, RBC is enhancing existing relationships with PGA TOUR pros Stephen Ames and Mike Weir by entering into new multi-year extensions with both players. RBC becomes the official bank for Ames and Weir and both will have RBC branding prominently featured on their staff golf bags when they compete each week on the PGA TOUR. The partnerships are anchored in philanthropy with RBC continuing on as presenting sponsor of the Stephen Ames Cup and the Mike Weir Foundation entering its second year as the national charity partner of the RBC Canadian Open.
“I have been fortunate to have had a very close partnership with RBC for a number of years now and I’m thankful to see that continue,” said Weir. “More importantly, however, I’m excited about their support at the amateur level and their investment in the future of Canadian golf. We are seeing many great young Canadian golfers coming up and the support of RBC will not only help them succeed, but will provide the opportunities for even more amateurs to pursue their dreams in the sport.”
“Canadians are showing every week that they can compete with the best in golf,” said Ames. “RBC’s grassroots commitment to the game will be a boost to the next generation of players that will pay dividends for years to come. Their strong commitment to charity, both through the RBC Canadian Open and my own charitable foundation, is also something that I’ve appreciated personally, not only for the future of the game, but also for the future of the programs that benefit communities across Canada.”
Ames kicked off his season on the PGA TOUR last week at the Kapalua event in Hawaii while Weir made his first start yesterday at the Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, California. Weir and Ames join American standout Anthony Kim forming ‘Team RBC’ on the PGA TOUR.
“Over the past two years, supporting the RBC Canadian Open has given us an opportunity to engage so many of our clients, employees and community partners in an event that they enjoy,” said Little. “We’re very pleased to take the next step and invest further in the long-term future of golf in Canada by playing a greater role in nurturing the next generation of national golfing heroes and further developing the game that so many Canadians love.”