HSBC Worldwide Golf

HSBC Worldwide Golf

As a long term sponsor of the sport, our mantra for several years has been that golf is Anyone’s Game – it’s our ambition to open up the world of golf. For over a decade we have opened up the world of golf with a portfolio of flagship sponsorships which includes the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore and the world’s oldest Major tournament, The Open. In 2017 we’ve expanded our horizons still further as the World Golf Championships headed to Mexico for the first time for the WGC-Mexico Championship.

We are proud to have opened up new territories and tournaments – in the last fourteen years we have been involved in almost 50 tournaments and brought world class golf events to China, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. And we’ve opened up experiences and opportunities for our customers with more than 1,000 golf days and best-in-class hospitality.

Through our Anyone’s Game campaign we are committed to opening up the world of golf and 2016 proved to be another watershed moment for the sport as golf returned to the Olympics after an absence of 112 years. Whilst the build-up to the tournament was dominated by headlines around Zika virus and no-shows, when the world’s best golfers teed off in Rio the reaction from the global sporting community was far more supportive. The performances of Gold medal winners Justin Rose and Inbee Park lit up the Olympic tournament and provided some positive momentum as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020.

The Olympic opportunity is a game-changer for golf and all of us involved in the game need to play our part in grabbing it with both hands. Our ‘State of Play 2020’ report produced in July last year, looked at golf’s development and specifically how it has progressed since 2012. Its findings provided great food for thought heading into 2017.

“State of Play 2020” revealed the following: Olympic status can change the game; Asian golf is on the charge but barriers remain; golf needs new formats; social media has been transformational and more immersive viewing experiences are taking us closer to the action.

So whilst there is great cause for excitement and anticipation in the golfing world, there are also many challenges ahead and much work to do. As we all know, a great opportunity can become a great challenge if not acted upon and in the wake of a highly successful Olympic experience, golf must grab this opportunity with both hands. With a golden generation of talented young golfers dominating both the men’s and the women’s game, arguably golf has never been a more attractive proposition for a time poor, young audience bombarded by a myriad of choices. Now is the time to engage them. Standing still is not an option. Which is why this tournament is such an important curtain-raiser to the new golfing year – we really need to keep the Olympic momentum rolling.

One of the key themes to emerge from “State of Play 2020” was the continued growth of the game in Asia. We have played an active part in developing the game in the region for over a decade.

China has again made a big impression on the world of golf in the last twelve months. Our flagship sponsorships and grassroots programmes have provided the catalyst for great growth in China for over a decade and WGC-HSBC Champions has proved to be the perfect stage for golf in Asia to come of age. Chinese golfers such as Haotong Li and Jin Cheng, who started in the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, have broken through and are now genuine global contenders.

Our $9.75 million WGC-HSBC Champions event in China continues to go from strength to strength. When we first brought world class golf to China in 2005 we could never have dreamed that it would act as the catalyst for such unprecedented golf development in the region.  As a long standing sponsor of the game, our ambition is to open up the world of golf and we believe that WGC-HSBC Champions has provided the perfect stage for golf in Asia to come of age. It mirrors our approach all over the world where we invest in world class golf tournaments but at the same time plan for the future by supporting grass roots golf by developing grassroots initiatives that have given thousands of people the opportunity to experience the game for the first time.

Our golfing year kicked off as ever at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where young Englishman Tommy Fleetwood was crowned Champion.  We then headed East to Singapore  for our flagship women’s golf tournament, HSBC Women’s Champions at the stunning Sentosa Golf Club where Inbee Park was victorious for the second time. We are hugely proud to be patron of the world’s oldest major tournament which returned to Royal Birkdale in July and saw Jordan Spieth win his third Major and China’s Li Haotong finish in third place.  The year will reach a crescendo at our flagship WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai which continues to live up to its billing as “Asia’s Major”.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Now established as the “Gulf Swing” opener, the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship has become one of the biggest events on the PGA European Tour and earned a reputation as the jewel in the crown of Middle Eastern golf.

This year saw Englishman Tommy Fleetwood claim the iconic Falcon Trophy, fighting off Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club National course.

HSBC Women’s Champions

Established in 2008, HSBC Women’s Champions showcases the very best in women’s golf and is an annual highlight in the calendar for players and fans alike. In 2017 the tournament attracted 19 of the top 20 players, and the top ten ranked golfers in the world according to the Rolex Rankings. 

The event has earned a reputation for high drama and 2017 was no different with Olympic Gold medalist Inbee Park winning the tournament for a second time with a putting masterclass to win the $1.5 million tournament at the beautiful Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. 

The tough qualification criteria means that the event has a star-studded roll call of previous winners including Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb from Australia, Ai Miyazato from Japan, Paula Creamer from the US and Inbee Park from South Korea. Strength of field and quality golf have helped cement HSBC Women’s Champions’ reputation as “Asia’s Major”.

The Open Championship – Official Patron

We are immensely proud to be a patron of the oldest golf tournament in the world, The Open, one of golf’s four Major championships.

In 2015 we celebrated the return of the tournament to the home of golf at St Andrews by launching HSBC Hour, an initiative offering an hour of free golf to children and their families all over the country. In 2016, World Top Ten golfer Rickie Fowler was on hand to launch HSBC Hour once again live from Royal Troon.

The expanded programme gave thousands of young people and their families an introduction to the sport during the week of The Open. This year for the first time HSBC Hour went global, with young people in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates offered the opportunity to experience golf for the first time.

Last year’s incredible Open Championship will certainly have provided a huge inspiration to the next generation of golfing stars. The dramatic duel between eventual Open champion Henrik Stenson and wily campaigner Phil Mickelson captivated the sporting world. To see such stalwarts of the game slugging it out in their 40s was high level sport at its very best.

Our partnership with the R&A, now into its seventh year, creates a centre of gravity in a global golf portfolio that spans many of our key markets. It also gives us access to a global network through the game’s ruling authority and as we saw at Royal Troon the unique challenge of links golf guarantees a spectacle that captures the imagination of sports fans the world over.

World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions

Our flagship WGC-HSBC Champions sits proudly as the only World Golf Championship event outside of the Americas and as such is the biggest golf tournament in the world outside of the US and The Open Championship.

The four World Golf Championship events are the most prestigious in golf, outside of the four major championships. Following a meeting of golf's five world governing bodies (European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour), the World Golf Championships were developed to enhance the competitive structure of professional golf worldwide while preserving the traditions and strengths of the individual Tours and their events.

As the first truly global golf tournament following the sport’s successful return to the Olympics at Rio 2016, there was something extra special about the Shanghai showdown last year. It was almost as if the momentum gathered over the last decade was building up to this moment. And the tournament did not disappoint.  No less than forty of the world’s top 50 players lined up at Sheshan International Golf Club and to launch the event in style five of the world’s best golfers starred in “Return of the Superheroes”, an all-action animated film that celebrates their individual superhero qualities; of course, the hero who emerged as The Champion was Asia’s first-ever WGC winner, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama who beat a world-class field by seven shots. In doing so, he also became the youngest ever winner of the tournament.

The performance of Matsuyama represents yet another milestone in the ongoing success story of Asian golf. When we first brought HSBC Champions to China in 2005 our ambition was to create a world class international golf tournament in an emerging market. And in 2012 our “Golf’s 2020 Vision” report predicted a major Asian presence in the world’s Top 10, something that looks more than realistic given recent progress. Today, Asia is golf’s new horizon. It’s going to be fascinating to see where it takes us next.

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