IHG becomes official marketing partner of PGA TOUR

January 03, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

ATLANTA and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announced they have entered into a five-year integrated marketing partnership that, beginning in 2011, will make IHG an official partner of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour in the hotel and resort category.

IHG owns a portfolio of well-recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. IHG also manage the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 52 million members worldwide.

Additionally, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts will extend its title sponsorship of the PGA TOUR's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial through 2015. Crowne Plaza has served as title sponsor of the historic event since 2007. Crowne Plaza is known to business travelers as "The Place to Meet" and golf courses have a storied history as informal meeting places, which Crowne Plaza will continue to leverage through its relationship with the PGA TOUR and Colonial Country Club across all IHG brands.

"We are extremely pleased to announce this new long-term relationship with the PGA TOUR, which includes extending our sponsorship of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial," said Jim Abrahamson, President, The Americas, IHG. "This partnership provides a terrific opportunity for IHG to showcase all its eight brands and bring to life our award winning loyalty program for fans as well as the PGA TOUR's membership base of players from around the world."

"We are delighted to extend our tournament sponsorship with Crowne Plaza and to expand our relationship with InterContinental Hotels Group," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is one of the most storied tournaments on the PGA TOUR, as well as one of the leading tournaments in terms of charitable giving, and Crowne Plaza's sponsorship is important to continuing this legacy. Also, by welcoming IHG as an Official Marketing Partner, our players -- as well as their families and caddies -- will receive valuable benefits and room options throughout the year."

As an Official Marketing Partner of the PGA TOUR, IHG will provide a variety of benefits to players, including:

• A designated number of room nights for players across all three Tours

• Platinum status in the Priority Club® Rewards program for all members caddies, media partners and PGA TOUR staff across all of IHG's brands

• For several players who participate in a special program that includes personal appearances with IHG guests at tournaments and/or use of their name and likeness, additional benefits will include an increased number of complimentary room nights per year

IHG also will invest in PGA TOUR assets including media, special events, TPCs and charitable activities. PGATOUR.COM will feature a "hotel finder" on the tournament pages that will allow fans to easily book hotel rooms at one of IHG's 4,500 properties when traveling to these events.

"Golf continues to be a great strategic fit for the Crowne Plaza brand and we are extremely proud to be extending our title sponsorship of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial," said Gina LaBarre, Vice President, Brand Delivery, IHG. "We're particularly pleased to continue our relationship with the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and be associated with its 65 years of rich tradition, commitment to excellence & charitable giving."

"We are excited to continue to build on the level of excellence our title sponsor, Crowne Plaza, has brought to this storied championship," added Chuck Scherer, Colonial Tournament Chairman. "Our members, fans, volunteers, sponsors and charities are all very thankful for Crowne Plaza's commitment to our community through this partnership."

The 2011 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, captured in 2010 by Zach Johnson, will be held May 19-22 at Colonial Country Club. Dating back to 1946, the Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas is the longest-running PGA TOUR tournament held at the same venue.