PGA TOUR and ZOZO Announce First Annual, Official TOUR Event in Japan
14 May, 2019
The PGA TOUR and ZOZO, Inc. – which operates the largest Japanese online fashion website “ZOZOTOWN” – announced a six-year agreement that establishes the first annual, official PGA TOUR tournament in Japan. The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, which will be co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), is set to debut at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club the week of October 21, 2019, during the opening segment of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR FedExCup Season.
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, with a Japan-record purse of US$9.75 million, will become part of the TOUR’s swing through Asia, joining THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China. The CIMB Classic in Malaysia no longer will be on the PGA TOUR schedule, as CIMB is realigning its sponsorship with the TOUR.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the first annual, official PGA TOUR event to Japan through our partnership with ZOZO, Inc.,” said Ty Votaw, PGA TOUR Executive Vice President, International. “Japan’s passion for golf is widely recognized and something our stars have experienced first-hand through various events held here and the support of standout PGA TOUR players like champion Hideki Matsuyama. Today’s announcement further strengthens our presence in Asia and certainly comes at an opportune time with golf set to follow its highly successful return to the Olympics in Rio when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games.”
“I’ve been inspired by golf as a player and as a fan for nearly 10 years now. Opportunities such as going on rounds with my 73-year-old father, and practicing with my sons who are now in elementary school, all came from my love for golf,” said Yusaku Maezawa, ZOZO Inc. CEO. “ZOZO, Inc. has celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and we have launched our private fashion brand ZOZO, which is designed, developed and distributed by us. The concept of the brand is to create the perfect fit for every unique body by using body measurement technology. Just like golf has the power to motivate and connect people all over the world, regardless of nationality, gender, age or body shape, we hope to grow our private brand ZOZO into a brand that is loved all over the world, regardless of big, small, tall or short.
“I am extremely grateful of this miracle of becoming a title sponsor of the historical and prestigious PGA TOUR for the very first Japan tournament, and to be able to hold this tournament in Chiba prefecture, where our roots are.”
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP field will consist of 78 professionals, including 60 available players from the previous season’s FedExCup points list, 10 designated by the JGTO and eight special exemptions.
The PGA TOUR, which opened an office in Tokyo in 2016, has a long history in Japan, starting with its involvement in the 1957 World Cup of Golf in Tokyo. After the first three editions of the event took place in Canada and the United States, the tournament was held outside North America for the first time in 1957 when the Kasumigaseki Club (which will host the 2020 Olympic golf competition) saw the U.S. team of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead take the title. Japan subsequently hosted the 1966 and 2001 World Cups.
PGA TOUR Champions also has had a presence in Japan, starting with a team event from 1989-91 in which four Champions Tour players competed against counterparts from Japan. The Tour returned in 2017 with a tournament at Narita Golf Club and will return to the club in June of 2019 with the Mastercard Japan Championship.
Every year since 1993, the PGA TOUR has had at least one Japanese player on its roster including two for the 2018-19 Season: Hideki Matsuyama and Satoshi Kodaira. Five players have accounted for 11 PGA TOUR victories over the years, led by Matsuyama with five and Shigeki Maruyama with three. Isao Aoki, Ryuji Imada and Kodaira each have won once.
About ZOZO, Inc.: Established in 1998, the business started out by selling imported CDs and records, based on mail orders from a catalog. In 2000, the company started online sales of fashion apparel, and opened the online fashion website “ZOZOTOWN” in 2004. Today ZOZOTOWN offers more than 6,900 brands, providing more than 650,000 items at any given time. In 2007, the company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers, and then listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February 2012. The company launches a global outfit / styling idea App, “WEAR” in 2013, which has reached 12 million downloads with more than 8 million posts.
In 2017 November, the body measurement suit, the “ZOZOSUIT”, as well as its private label “ZOZO”, which is a brand designed to solve the common “size issue” regarding fashion for people all over the world. “ZOZO” was launched globally in July 2018, and now available in over 72 countries and regions. Moreover, the company has reached 270.5 billion yen in its gross merchandise value in 2017 June. The company is eager to promote its corporate philosophy “Make the world a better place, bring smiles to the world” through its business.
ZOZO, Inc. web site : https://corp.zozo.com/
About PGA TOUR: By showcasing golf’s greatest players, the PGA TOUR engages, inspires and positively impacts our fans, partners and communities worldwide.
The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series-China. Members on the PGA TOUR represent the world’s best players, hailing from 25 countries (88 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 226 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations to maximize charitable giving. In 2017, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $180 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.65 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.