RBC named as new title sponsor of Heritage

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Thanks to RBC, the lighthouse at Harbour Town will remain one of the PGA TOUR's most iconic images.
June 16, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

TRANSCRIPT: Governor Haley, Commissioner Finchem on the announcement

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- The PGA TOUR, Heritage Classic Foundation and RBC announced Thursday that RBC has signed a five-year agreement to become the new title sponsor of the RBC Heritage through 2016.

In addition to RBC's title sponsorship, The Boeing Company, which has a significant presence in Charleston, S.C., will serve as local presenting sponsor for the tournament.

The announcement was made during a news conference at Hilton Head Island that included South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.

"This is a great day in South Carolina, and we're going to celebrate," said Gov. Haley. "We said from day one that finding a private sponsor for The Heritage was one of this administration's top priorities because the tournament is an opportunity for us to showcase our state as one of this country's premier destinations for business and tourists and that we shouldn't rely on taxpayers to foot the bill."

The RBC Heritage, which for 2012 will return to its traditional week in April immediately following the Masters Tournament, has been an important element of South Carolina's culture and economy since 1969, when it debuted at the Pete Dye-designed Harbour Town Golf Links.

The tournament generates more than $1 million for charity each year and brings worldwide exposure to Hilton Head Island and the state of South Carolina through telecasts and media coverage. A 2010 study conducted by Clemson University shows the tournament has an annual economic impact of approximately $82 million.

"We are delighted that RBC, already a great partner of the PGA TOUR as title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open, has made this significant commitment to secure The Heritage's future," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "I know today's announcement is welcome news to everyone who has been involved with and supported the tournament. We are also very appreciative of Boeing's significant support as the event's presenting sponsor.

"In addition to being a favorite among our players, the RBC Heritage has had a tremendous economic and charitable impact, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Heritage Classic Foundation," Finchem continued. "On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I'd also like to extend our deepest appreciation for the leadership and incredible support provided by Gov. Haley, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. James Clyburn and other state officials throughout this process to help secure the future of this great tournament."

"RBC is excited to become title sponsor of this classic tournament that will provide a unique opportunity to associate our brand with one of the PGA TOUR's most liked and well attended tournaments in North America," said Jim Little, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, RBC. "We are very committed to building our brand and serving our growing client base in the U.S. and the RBC Heritage provides very attractive opportunities for our U.S. businesses to reach target markets and foster new business development."

As part of the five-year sponsorship deal, RBC will leverage the U.S. network television opportunities to promote its wealth management, private banking and capital markets businesses to a coveted client demographic. RBC also believes in giving back to important charitable causes in communities in which it does business. Through this new agreement, RBC and the Heritage Classic Foundation will inject millions of dollars into the economy and to charitable organizations within South Carolina, starting in 2012.

The tournament had been seeking sponsorship since Verizon ended 24 years of sponsorship following the 2010 tournament.

"We are truly grateful that we can celebrate the long-term future of our beloved tournament through the generous commitment of RBC as our new title sponsor, as well as The Boeing Company as our local presenting sponsor," said Simon Fraser, Chairman of the Heritage Classic Foundation. "We have weathered a very difficult time of uncertainty and speculation, but now can definitively say that the RBC Heritage will remain an important part of the PGA TOUR and our state, and will continue to generate millions of dollars for our economy and for charities in the years to come."

"Boeing is delighted to become a part of a prestigious event with such a rich history and positive impact on the region," said Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We're especially pleased that the RBC Heritage will generate more than $1 million each year in support of South Carolina charities. Boeing is committed to making a difference in the communities where we work and live, and this is just one way we can demonstrate that commitment."

Contested on a golf course that has been a favorite among PGA TOUR players, the RBC Heritage has a stellar list of past champions, including a number of World Golf Hall of Fame members: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Hubert Green and the late Payne Stewart.

This year, Brandt Snedeker succeeded 2010 champion and Team RBC ambassador Jim Furyk by defeating Luke Donald on the third playoff hole.

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