Manulife Financial to title sponsor new LPGA tournament in Waterloo, Ontario, beginning in 2012

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LPGA, Manulife Financial, Sports Properties International and Waterloo team up
to bring the world's best female golfers to the Waterloo Region

WATERLOO, Ontario, Canada, June 28, 2011 - The LPGA and Sports Properties International announced today that Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC), a leading Canadian-based financial services company, has signed a three-year (3) agreement to title sponsor a new LPGA event beginning in 2012. The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic will take place June 18-24, 2012, at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The tournament will feature a standard eligibility field of 144 players and 72 holes of stroke play.

"Manulife Financial and the Waterloo region are a perfect fit with the LPGA," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "Manulife is a world wide leader in the financial services sector and like the LPGA it has a global presence that will help build connections to this tournament from around the world. We look forward to bringing the best female golfers on the planet to Grey Silo, and to broadcasting the Manulife Financial Classic to more than 170 countries."

"I can't tell you how thrilled we are to sponsor this exciting new tournament, and to have the opportunity to play an active role in bringing a world-class golf event to Waterloo Region's doorstep," said Brian Gooding, Senior Vice-President, Distribution. "Manulife has employees, customers and advisors in every country represented by the players in this tournament, so that's why this is a perfect fit for us. Waterloo Region has such a strong community spirit of volunteerism - and that's a great fit with Manulife's national signature cause of volunteerism. We're delighted to have this opportunity to bring local people together who will play such a critical role in the success of this event."

Organizers are looking for close to 1,200 volunteers to help make this tournament a success.

The announcement, made today by LPGA Chief Marketing Officer Jon Podany and pros (former and present) Alena Sharp, Samantha Richdale, Beth Bader, Stephanie Sherlock, Sandra Post and Gail Graham in Waterloo, Ontario, comes on the heels of the Wegmans LPGA Championship. The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic adds to a long tradition of the LPGA in Canada, most notably joining the CN Canadian Women's Open, which has been on the LPGA schedule since 1976.

"I am honored that Waterloo and Grey Silo Golf Club have been selected as the location for this event," said Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran. "Hosting the LPGA in our community provides a tremendous economic benefit to our city, and it will showcase some of the best female golfers in the world. We will be working closely with organizers and the neighboring community to ensure that this great event is successful and memorable for all concerned."

"We've been working for the better part of a year to bring this event together," said Sports Properties International CEO and Chairman, Hugh Morrow. "It's been a pleasure to work with the LPGA, Manulife and the region, and we are extremely happy and pleased to bring a tournament of this caliber to the Waterloo region. Canadians are passionate about golf, and we know there will be a lot of excitement around this event every year."

"The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic will work well in the flow of our season and I know the Canadian fans will be just as supportive as they have been at every other event we have played," said Alena Sharp, a native of Hamilton, Ontario. "It's awesome to have a permanent location for a Canadian event right in my backyard."

More than 20 percent of the population in Canada plays golf according to the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) compared to 9 percent of the population in the United States according to the National Golf Foundation (NGF). Females in Canada constitute 29 percent of total golfers, whereas females in the United States make up 21 percent of the golf population.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of clients in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services. These products and services include individual life insurance, group life and health insurance, long-term care services, pension products, annuities, mutual funds and banking products. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide and offer reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. The Company operates in Canada and Asia through the brand name "Manulife Financial" and in the United States primarily through the brand name "John Hancock". Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

Topics: Press Release

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