After nine successful years, the Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to end its partnership with one of the PGA’s 4 major tournaments, The Open Championship. The move being just one in a series of changes in RBS sponsorships.
RBS has already announced a step away from sponsoring Formula 1 racing, which will take effect starting at the end of the season.
Just last year it also ended its sponsorship of golfers Luke Donald and Paula Creamer, and added to the list was the PGA of America. RBS was an official partner of the golf tour.
The sponsorships remaining intact are the US Open, 6 Nations Rugby, and the tennis player, Andy Murray.
As far as brand ambassadors are concerned, RBS will continue its relationship with Jack Nicklaus and motor racing legend, Sir Jackie Stewart.
It is possible that cost was an issue in the decision to halt sponsorship of The Open. In these challenging economic times, 1 million pounds a year is a significant amount for any company.
RBS commented on the event, saying: “For over a century we have enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the R & A (golf’s official body) and in the last nine years as an official patron to The Open Championship. It has been a privilege for RBS to play a small part in helping golf’s development into the global sport it is today and the strong contribution it makes to our economy.
“It is now time for us to step aside from our involvement as a patron of The Open Championship and we wish the R & A well in the continued development of one of the world’s major sporting events.”
The bank added: “It remains our view that well chosen, strategic sponsorships can be a very cost-effective way to market out brand, engage our customers and also support sporting , cultural and other events and activities that enhance the communities in which we operate.”