Four of the world’s top golfers today performed a traditional Chinese Lion dance to celebrate the launch of this year’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions – and a five year commitment to the tournament by the long-term sponsor.
Current champion Bubba Watson was joined by World No 2 Jordan Spieth, World No 5 Rickie Fowler and World No 7 Henrik Stenson at the traditional rooftop celebration overlooking The Bund, Shanghai’s iconic riverfront.
The players marked the start of the tournament by kicking off the drumbeat for a Lion dance, the traditional Chinese symbol of good luck, as the countdown to the tournament known as ‘Asia’s Major’ swung into action.
For the third year running, the showdown at the Sheshan International Golf Club (Nov 5-8) has attracted close to 40 of the world’s top 50 players and sponsor HSBC has even more reason to celebrate after renewing its commitment to golf in China by agreeing a five year extension to its sponsorship of World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
World No 2 Jordan Spieth said: “This is great news for golf in China and I can’t wait to take on the course at Sheshan. Golf in Asia, this tournament and the number of good young Asian players on tour continues to grow so all bodes well for golf in the region.”
Defending champion Bubba Watson added: “It’s incredible to see how much the game has developed in the last ten years in Asia – every time we come the game is more and more popular. My victory here last year was a huge moment for me and I can’t wait to defend my crown.”
Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events at HSBC, announced the sponsorship extension on stage at the 2015 Golf Business Forum, hosted in Shanghai. He said: “We have restated our commitment to golf in China by agreeing an extension for another five years. Over the last ten years, our flagship tournament has been a driving force behind the development of golf in Asia and with golf making a return to the Olympics at Rio 2016, we feel this is Asia’s major moment.
“In addition to the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions extension, we are also delighted to announce an extension of our other major flagship golf events, HSBC Women’s Champions and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship whilst earlier this year we renewed our agreement as patron of The Open Championship. All in all, we believe this is a major statement of intent.
“Here in Shanghai, we again have a world class field, packed full of the young stars representing golf’s new generation and it promises to be another thrilling week.”
The star-studded field also includes former World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions winners Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer, World Number 3 Rory McIlroy and top 20 players Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.
The tournament boasts the toughest qualification criteria of all the World Golf Championships, with the majority of the field qualifying only by winning a key tournament on their Tours or by being ranked in the world’s top 50.
Notes to editors:
HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 58 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
About HSBC Golf Sponsorships:
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite.
HSBC is a proud patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The R&A creates a centre of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC’s key markets. In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The $8.5m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, Rory McIlroy describes China as “an unstoppable force in world golf.” HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2011 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour.
However, underpinning those international flagship events is a longer-term ambition to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. In Hong Kong, HSBC supports the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage. In the UK, HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation’s national development programme which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs and uses golf to promote important life skills.
For more details on HSBC’s golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,549bn at 30 September 2015, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
Shows: Shanghai, China
00:00:00 to 00:02:30 WGC HSBC Champions players photocall at The Peninsula Hotel
00:02:30 to 00:04:44 player interviews with Rickie Fowler – Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth
00:04:44 – 00:05:05 Golfers signing and looking through book
00:05:06 to 00:05:50 Rickie Fowler walks through Shanghai with CGA children
00:05:50 to 00:06:20 Rickie Fowler plays fun golf with CGA children
00:06:20 to END Rickie Fowler behind the scenes photoshoot in Shanghai