The PGA TOUR and Mitsubishi Electric announced an extension of the title sponsorship of the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai through 2020. They also announced a new title sponsorship – the Mitsubishi Electric Classic (formerly the Greater Gwinnett Championship) through 2020. Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating has been a presenting sponsor of the tournament played at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga. for the past three years.
Mitsubishi Electric continues to be an Official Marketing Partner of the PGA TOUR, providing the highly popular Diamond Vision® LED scoreboards at virtually every PGA TOUR tournament as the Official Large Outdoor Video Display Provider of the PGA TOUR. Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Vision boards have significantly strengthened the on-site fan experience. Diamond Vision scoreboards were introduced on the PGA TOUR in 2007, on the Champions Tour at Hualalai in 2009, and at all Champions Tour stops in 2013.
Cayce Blanchard, senior vice president of corporate communications for Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., made the announcements at the Infinite Energy Forum, formerly Gwinnett Convention Center, Duluth, Georgia during the Gwinnett Chamber Business Expo. Also in attendance were Stan Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Championship Foundation, Champions Tour senior vice president and chief of operations Miller Brady and World Golf Hall of Fame member Larry Nelson, an Atlanta resident.
“We’re very pleased to not only continue but expand our relationship with the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour,” said Blanchard. “Our customers enjoy our strong relationships with the Champions Tour players, especially at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Now we have the opportunity to strengthen these customer-building opportunities at TPC Sugarloaf at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic. We couldn’t ask for a more satisfactory association with an organization, one that demonstrates a huge charitable impact and personal commitment to its sponsors, especially from the Champions Tour.”
Mitsubishi Electric’s commitment as title sponsor of two tournaments in the same year represents the first time since 2008 that one company has served as title sponsor of multiple events in the same season on the Champions Tour. AT&T sponsored two events in March and October of 2008.
”Today’s announcement is a clear demonstration of Mitsubishi Electric’s appreciation for PGA TOUR golf and particularly the company’s commitment to the Champions Tour for which we are extremely grateful,” said Brady. “The long-term nature of Mitsubishi Electric’s involvement, along with their relationships with Champions Tour professionals, speaks to the benefits of engagement with our players and the strength of our product.”
The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai is scheduled for a Saturday finish from January 18-23, 2016, where Mitsubishi Electric Global Brand Ambassador Miguel Angel Jimenez will attempt to defend his title. The event features an elite field of the tournament champions from the past two seasons, as well as the senior major championship winners from the last five years. The tournament, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the starting point of the season for the Champions Tour and boasts the second-longest span at one venue – Hualalai Golf Course – in Champions Tour history. Mitsubishi Electric has been the title sponsor since 2009. The tournament has made a significant economic and charitable impact on Hawaii's Big Island community with more than $700,000 donated to various island charities.
The Mitsubishi Electric Classic will take place for the fourth year at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia from April 11-17, 2016. Past winners include World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer in the inaugural event, Jimenez in his Champions Tour debut in 2014 and former U.S. Senior Open champion Olin Browne, who claimed the rain-shortened event in 36 holes, earlier this year.
Nelson, winner of 10 PGA TOUR titles and 19 Champions Tour tournaments, added, “This additional involvement by Mitsubishi Electric in Atlanta demonstrates the value it sees in being associated with the Champions Tour and our players, and underscores how committed we are to helping worthwhile charities in this community.”
“Mitsubishi Electric is one of Gwinnett County’s greatest corporate partners, and their new commitment ensures the game’s greatest champions will continue to compete at TPC-Sugarloaf for the foreseeable future, while also yielding significant economic benefits for our entire community,” said Hall. “They’ve been outstanding partners for our tournament, as well as the many charitable causes that benefit from this great event. We are thrilled to be able to continue to work with them as we enter an exciting new chapter for the Mitsubishi Electric Classic."
Mitsubishi Electric will continue as the Official HVAC Products of the PGA TOUR and the Official Elevator and Escalator of the PGA TOUR. As an Official Marketing Partner, Mitsubishi Electric will continue to select PGA TOUR tournaments for hospitality and entertainment.
Both Mitsubishi Electric-sponsored tournaments will be broadcast on GOLF Channel, the Tour’s exclusive cable-television partner that reaches some 80 million homes in the United States. Champions Tour telecasts are also distributed internationally to more than 205 countries and territories, reaching more than 145 million households.
During Thursday’s announcement, the Mitsubishi Electric Classic also announced that they raised a total of $180,177 for various area charities with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation being the main recipients. Proceeds came from not only the tournament itself but from several tournament-related events such as the Matt Ryan Celebrity-Am Classic, Georgia United Credit Union Executive Women’s Day, Tasting on the Tee Presented by Infiniti of Gwinnett, and the Novelis Celebrity Challenge.
Diamond Vision is a registered trademark of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
About Mitsubishi Electric US, Holdings, Inc.: Mitsubishi Electric’s U.S. operations include nearly a dozen companies that manufacture and market an extensive line of commercial, industrial and consumer electronics products. These include elevators and escalators; heating and air conditioning systems; semiconductor devices; large-scale data walls and stadium displays; printers; automotive components, electronics and entertainment systems; factory automation equipment; power products; solar panels and other items. Mitsubishi Electric US Holdings, Inc. is a 100 percent wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. For more information visit www.MitsubishiElectric-USA.com.
About The Champions Tour: Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game, with many of its 32 members in the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events. The Tour also counts numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour's primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays.
Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2014 determined Bernhard Langer as the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour’s leading player. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Greg McLaughlin is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR’s website is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow the Champions Tour at facebook.com/ChampionsTour and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.
About the Mitsubishi Electric Classic
The Mitsubishi Electric Classic is an official event on the PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour. This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament features 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse at the prestigious TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, GA. The 2016 event will be played April 11-17 with all three official rounds nationally televised on the Golf Channel and will benefit charities through the Gwinnett Championship Foundation, Inc.