Golf sponsorships come in various forms and types. Getting sponsored for playing golf would surely be any player’s dream come true at one point. Nothing beats playing golf professionally and then earning a good living from it. You literally play golf every day (competitively) and not having to worry about finance along the way.
A road filled with challenges
It is not impossible to get sponsored for golf but it can be very challenging. It is not very difficult to become a Pro Golf player but it is filled with obstacles and restrictions especially when it comes to financing and funding. If you can secure sponsorship of any kind, it would definitely help tremendously. One thing for sure, it will ease your financial (or stress) burden considerably.
What you should know about sponsors
The golfing world is filled with players and sponsors. How would anyone notice you to want to sponsor you in any way? When it comes to sponsorships, you could be sponsored through:
- Payment in cash or kind – You receive a periodical payment for wearing and using the brand’s equipment or apparel. In some situations, you are paid for every tournament you play.
- Use of equipment or apparel – You do not get paid in cash but you receive equipment for your games. This means you need not have to worry about buying your golf clubs or bags. In some cases, you are paid in cash and given the equipment as well.
Sponsors have different priorities when it comes to sponsorship. Some would want exclusivity where you can only wear and use their brand. Others are more relaxed to ‘share the limelight’. Adidas might sponsor your apparel but TaylorMade sponsors your clubs. In this context, it is important to know what they are after. Nike in particular tends to want exclusivity.
Securing a Sponsor
The road to securing a sponsor needs a lot of hard work. You need to:
- Polish your skills – That which is most important is to first get your game in order. Get your techniques right and up to the level that you can play competitively.
- Get noticed – This can only be achieved when you participate in tournaments. You move your way up from the amateur events to the professional ones which will increase your number of appearances. Basically, it means to market yourself out there. You might not be a prominent competitor to the current players yet but if you have the potential to make your mark, sponsors will start to take notice.
- Explore the Pro tour – If you are ready, then compete with the Pros. That’s where the big-money spenders are. This is going to be tough and takes a lot of resilience.
- Engage an agent – If you have the financial resources, get an agent who will do the negotiation for you. In most cases, an agent will contact with the sponsors and deal on your behalf. This is crucial as it can mean better deals that will benefit both parties and not decisions made on desperation so that you are not bullied into taking up an unfair deal.
Corporate sponsors developing golf regionally
With a healthy eco-system for the sport of golf, it is no surprise that sponsors are needed and very much involved in the development of the game.
This can be seen from the many names mentioned and logos of corporations blazed across the backdrop and posters during the games. Below are some of the main sponsors involved in Malaysian golf.
BMW Group Malaysia
A very popular name involved in golf in Malaysia, the BMW Group has been involved for more than 3 decades in Malaysia alone.
It is already one of the mainstays in the global circuit having been involved in top tournaments like the Ryder Cup and the Omega European Masters, to name a few. BMW Group was also involved in the European Tour and had 2022 renewed its Official Partner status.
In Malaysia, BMW has long been involved in growing the sport since they launched the BMW Golf Club International in 1989. A few years ago, BMW Group Malaysia was also part of the names affiliated with the prestigious Maybank Championship.
One of the largest banks in Malaysia, CIMB Group is no stranger to the Malaysian golf scene. In fact, CIMB Group is the title sponsor of the prestigious CIMB Classic which dates back to 2010.
The CIMB Classic is widely considered to be one the important competitions for golfers charting to make a name in the sport. This is after all the only event which forms part of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup in Southeast Asia.
Anyone who plays the sport will know that the PGA Tour FedEx Cup is the richest in Southeast Asia with a prize-winning of US$7 million and has brought about some of the most prominent golfers of its time like Ernie Els, Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods.
Maybank’s foray into golf goes back a long way. Not only is Maybank the main sponsor in the biggest golf event in Malaysia, but the group is also very much involved in the development of the game as well.
The Maybank Malaysian Open Golf is an important tournament in the calendar of top golfers across the region. Having been around since 2006, the reputation of this event has grown exponentially, drawing players from both the local and global scenes.
Maybank puts a lot of emphasis on sponsorship which usually involves fundraising elements as well.
Being an important platform for the group’s corporate responsibility, they have invited a lot of media coverage too. Hence, it is common for the Maybank Malaysian Open to run together with several fundraising activities where the funds collected are channeled toward the Maybank Foundation.
Malaysian National Reassurance Bhd
Malaysian National Reassurance Berhad or MNRB Holdings Bhd is another name that is very involved in Malaysian golf. Set up in 1972, MNRB’s role was to reduce the outflow of premiums in reinsurance from the country abroad.
Being the national reinsurer, it plays an important role in the growth of the reinsurance sector of the country. As a corporate company, MNRB is a popular name often associated with golf events.
One of the main games that MNRB was involved in recently was the PGM MNRB Championship. This was to be part of the corporate social responsibility of MNRB Holdings Bhd and the group provided the cash winning of the tournament amounting to RM325,000.00 and has been sponsoring the tournament more than 7 times now.
Selangor State Government
The Selangor State Government plays a crucial role in the development of golf not only within the state of Selangor but also for the country.
Over the years, it has initiated countless programs and events that have brought about some of the top players both locally and internationally into Malaysia. This has been done either through sponsorship or as an organizer.
One of the major events sponsored by the Selangor State Government is the Tourism Selangor Golf Tournament. In 2022, the event was held for the fourth time at the Seri Selangor Golf Club in Kota Damansara.
The tournament received a very good reception after the pandemic which brought together more than 130 golfers from across the region. This includes Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and as far as the United Kingdom.
Besides the 18-hole competition, their ‘Pusing Selangor Dulu’ campaign which was introduced recently has become quite popular among the participants. 2022 was won by Muhammad Hisham Abdullah.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (KLSCCCI) is one of the oldest commerce organizations in Malaysia. Established back in 1904 and with more than a century of experience, it was formed to represent the Chinese business community in the Klang Valley covering Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
Known to be one of the most active Chambers of Commerce in the country, it is part of the ACCCIM or Constituent Chambers of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia.
Through the years, the KLSCCCI has been actively participating and involved in the growth of golf in Malaysia through sponsoring and organizing tournaments.
One of the prominent tournaments in the sport’s calendar is the Annual KLSCCCI Charity Golf Championship and Charity Dinner which has been widely anticipated and participated by players who use the event for networking and competing against each other while going for a good cause.
AmBank Group, one of the most established banking groups in Malaysia has always been a sponsor of golf tournaments and events in Malaysia.
Through these brands, AmBank plays a vital role in the growth of several initiatives, especially in the golf sport. One of the most significant events that AmBank has been involved in in the past includes the AmBank Group-SportExcel International Junior Golf Championship.
The AmBank Group has been actively involved in the development of the sport for more than a decade now. Back in 2019, the AmBank-SportExcel International Junior Golf Championship entered its fourteenth consecutive year.
The SportExcel International Junior Golf Championship is a vital tournament that is held throughout the calendar year and aimed at discovering new and emerging golfers in Malaysia and then setting them up for more competitive events in the future.
The competition usually covers categories for boys and girls in different age groups from 10 to 18 years of age.
From the tournaments, the AmBank-SportExcel Junior Golf Championship has produced exemplary players who have gone on to achieve remarkable results in the regional and international circuit. This includes the likes of Grace Chin, Ashley Chin, Malcolm Ting and many others.