The LPGA continued its growth spurt Friday by introducing a new event backed by a first-time sponsor on a premier course hosted by one of its most famous personalities.
The Mizuho Americas Open will take place May 29 to June 4, 2023, under the shadow of New York City at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, NJ, which has hosted the President’s Cup and the PGA Tour playoffs. The event marks Mizuho Americas’ first foray into sports sponsorship, and has a $2.75 million funding purse, making the third tournament the richest non-major on the circuit.
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The company is also connected with Michelle Wie West, who will host the competition and become a brand ambassador for the financial institution.
Alternatively, the tournament will be held at the same time as the American Junior Golf Association event, which will allow the top 24 female amateurs between the ages of 12 and 19 to play alongside LPGA competitors during Saturday’s rounds and Sunday. “When I announced my retirement from competitive golf earlier this year, my goal was to continue to live by the LPGA’s mantra to ‘Act Like a Founder,’ and leave the game better than I found it,” Wie West, 32, said in a press release. “We will be able to do that and impact the future generations of the game. I am very proud to host this groundbreaking event and partner with a company that sees the value in supporting women’s golf.”
Mizuho Worldwide, a global financial services company with $1.67 trillion in total assets, has previously sponsored the Tokyo Marathon and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, but this is the first sports tie-up for the American division. He partnered with Excel Sports Management, which owns the event, and was drawn to the LPGA, at least in part, by the opportunity to “pursue a dedicated partnership that aligns our shared values of opportunity, equity and the advancement of next generation. talent,” Shuji Matsuura, chairman and CEO of Mizuho Americas, said in the release.
Mizuho isn’t the first to see the appeal of the women’s game. This new tournament will bring the LPGA 32 events on the 2023 calendar with a record purse of $93.5 million. That’s up from $68.5 million in 2018. At the same time, television exposure continues to grow, with 10 events appearing on network television this year compared to six years ago.
“The LPGA is committed to integrating and growing all parts of the women’s golf ecosystem, and this event is perfectly aligned with that goal,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, LPGA commissioner. “From the first time we met the teams at Mizuho and Liberty National, it was clear how committed they both were to an event that would change this game for players, employees and fans and more wide, using the competition as a platform to progress. opportunities for girls and women on and off the golf course.”
Part of the LPGA’s success in recent years has come from playing more often on the game’s most respected courses, from St. Andrews, Pebble Beach and Baltusrol to Muirfield, Pinehurst and Congressional. Liberty National adds to the string of high-profile layouts. It also offers comments made on social media about New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, another woman who stands for something and knows how to get attention.
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