The event has at times struggled to attract viable sponsors in the recent past and having such a high profile international company sign up with the promoters World Sport Group is a major fillip.
What is now the 2011 Emirates Australian Open was already rising high with the Presidents Cup helping to attract a field that currently includes Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and defending champion Geoff Ogilvy.
“Emirates has enhanced our partnership with the Australian Open, one of the world’s oldest national golf opens, in conjunction with our continued support of the Australian market,” said Barry Brown, Emirates’ Vice President Australasia.
“Since joining as the Official Airline of the Australian Open in 2009, Emirates has been an integral part of the success of Golf Australia and the growth of the championship, and we look forward to the future of the event as well as the promotion of the game of golf in New South Wales and Australia.”
“We anticipate this year’s event will be one of the biggest ever, with a first class field of players competing to have their name inscribed on the Stonehaven Cup – alongside golfing greats such as Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Tom Watson and Peter Thomson,” added Brown.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said the announcement of Emirates as new naming rights was “wonderful news for the Australian Open.”
“Emirates is well known for being one of the world’s premium airlines and a leading supporter of golf tournaments across the globe,” Pitt said.
“The reputation of the Emirates Australian Open is built on winners from all over the world who are among the finest players in history and we’re very proud to welcome a major partner who also shares that commitment to excellence in everything they do,” Pitt added.
Chief Executive Officer of the PGA Tour of Australasia Brian Thorburn said it was great news for this year’s Tour schedule.
“Emirates has been a supporter of Australian golf for a number of years and we are thrilled to see their involvement grow to such a level for the Australian Open. This year’s Emirates Australian Open is sure to be a pinnacle event on this year’s Tour schedule and we look forward to working with them into the future,” Thorburn said.
The 2011 Emirates Australian Open will be played at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney from 10th to 13th November, the week before the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.