29th July 2009 - Global technology leader, Ricoh, signed an agreement with the Ladies Golf Union and IMG today confirming that they will continue as title sponsor of the Ricoh Women's British Open through until 2013.
Ricoh has 108,500 employees worldwide and operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, China and Japan and, this week, is enjoying its third year as title sponsor of the only Major to be played outside of the US.
Kirk Yoshida, Deputy President RICOH Company Ltd. explained, “The Ricoh Women's British Open has proved to be the perfect event to represent our brand worldwide and we are delighted to commit our future to the Championship until at least 2013. It is the most international event on the women's tour with a fantastic history which has matched up perfectly with Ricoh's own global presence, brand values and rich heritage.”
He added, “We have been delighted at how our partnership with the LGU and IMG has developed and how the Championship has progressed year on year. Our first year at St Andrews was a magical one as we made history as the first professional event to be hosted on the Old Course. The fantastic feedback from the players, customers and fans following the 2008 Ricoh Women's British Open at Sunningdale further illustrated the success of our relationship and we are all very excited for the coming week here at Royal Lytham & St Annes, and also for the years ahead.”
Shona Malcolm, Ladies' Golf Union's CEO, added, “This is fantastic news, not just for our Championship but for women's golf. In the current climate nothing can be taken for granted and for a prestigious brand like Ricoh to make this sort of commitment is excellent news for golf and testament to the strength of the Championship.”
Mark Steinberg, Senior Corporate Vice President, IMG Global Managing Director, Golf, added, “It is always good news to announce a new sponsorship but personally I find it even more satisfying to announce a renewed commitment as it shows that the partnership has delivered on both its promises and it's sponsorship goals. It is a testament to the LGU and the entire Women's British Open team that the future of this great tournament looks so bright and we are thrilled to beannouncing this great news today.”
It was also announced that the Ricoh Women's British Open will be adding in yet another world class links venue to the rotation in 2011 in the form of Carnoustie. The famous Scottish links course enjoys a well-deserved reputation as being one of the best courses in the world and has hosted seven Open Championships to date with the latest in 2007, won by Ireland's Padraig Harrington.
Also confirmed for 2013 is the much anticipated return to the Old Course, St Andrews. After the phenomenal success of the Championship's first visit to the Home of Golf in 2007, creating history as the first women's professional event to be hosted over the Old Course, and fittingly won by crowd favourite and World Number 1, Lorena Ochoa, the sponsor, players, officials and fans have been clamouring for a return ever since.
World Number five Paula Creamer, who is seeking her first Major win at this weeks Championship said, “We are all thrilled to hear that Ricoh is enjoying their relationship with us as much as we are enjoying our relationship with them! I, and all the players, have benefited from their generous sponsorship of this fantastic Championship over the past few years and it is great to hear such good news for our Tour on the eve of the final Major of the year. As someone who is also very proud to personally represent Ricoh globally, we are all very grateful for their continued support and I hope we go out there this week and entertain Ricoh and their customers with some high quality golf on this beautiful course.”
Paula continued “Part of the thrill for us of playing in the Ricoh Women's British Open is the amazing historic courses we get to play on and I am so excited that we will be both taking on the fresh challenges of Carnoustie and also returning to the very special St Andrews in 2013. These historic courses have survived the test of time and fit well with Ricoh and their strive for sustainability.”
With Royal Birkdale Golf Club to host its third Women's British Open next year and the 2012 venue to be confirmed, the Championship Committee continue to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the Ricoh Women's British Open visits only world class championship courses with these celebrated golfing venues fitting this brief to a tee.