Manulife Parting Ways As Sponsor of LPGA Event

Caroline Masson wins the 2016 Manulife LPGA Classic (Photo: Manulife LPGA Classic)

One of the LPGA Canadian-based tournaments is officially without a sponsor after this year. But event organizers say they are committed to finding a replacement

On Friday, Manulife announced that 2017 will be their final one as the title sponsor of the Manulife LPGA Classic. It follows on the heels of a one year extension of their deal that brought them into 2017 and will complete a six-year run for the Waterloo-based tournament.

“Manulife is proud to have brought this world-class professional sporting event to the Waterloo Region for the past six years,” said Marianne Harrison, President and CEO Manulife Canada in a statement provided to the media. “The tournament has been a great opportunity for us and one that lasted longer than we originally expected with our two extensions in 2014 and then again in 2016. The community has been very supportive and we will ensure fans and volunteers have the same great experience at the 2017 tournament.”

“We thank Manulife for being such a wonderful title sponsor and partner to the LPGA for the past six years,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “The Waterloo Region is full of tremendous golf fans and the support shown by the community has helped to make this a very successful event both on and off the golf course. We look forward to another great Manulife LPGA Classic this June and will continue to work to bring an LPGA tournament back to this area in the future.”

The tournament has featured a field of 150 players competing for a purse that was most recently increased to US$1.6 million in 2016 and will be US$1.7 million in 2017. This past year’s tournament had more than 68,000 fans attend and the support of approximately 700 volunteers that helped bring the tournament to life.

“Sports Properties International (SPI) is thankful for the support and partnership with Manulife over the past six years. Together we have created one of the premier LPGA events on Tour,” said Hugh Morrow, CEO Sports Properties International.

“The Manulife LPGA Classic has raised over $1.6 million for St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation and injected over $50 million in economic impact to the Waterloo Region. The support we’ve had from the community of Waterloo Region and Southern Ontario has been tremendous and we are committed to finding a new title sponsor to continue this event.”

The 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic is scheduled for June 7-11, 2017 at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario.