TORONTO, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Manulife today announced that it will continue to be the title sponsor of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic for at least two more years. Over its first two years, the tournament has attracted more than 125,000 spectators, making it one of the most well-attended events on the LPGA Tour.
"We are thrilled to bring this world-class event to Waterloo Region," said Marianne Harrison, President and CEO, Manulife Canada. "The community's support of the tournament has been outstanding, bringing in over 60,000 spectators each year and the support of over 1,000 dedicated volunteers. Fans have also been treated to exciting golf with two sudden death playoffs."
A partnership with the LPGA Tour and its athletes gives Manulife - which has operations in Canada, the United States and Asia - the opportunity to strengthen connections with clients and employees globally. This is especially so in Waterloo, which is home to Manulife's Canadian Division headquarters. The tournament will remain in Waterloo Region for the next two years - the only global sporting event in the area.
Recently, Manulife strengthened its golf portfolio when it announced multi-year partnerships with 2013 Women's British Open Champion Stacy Lewis and up-and-coming Canadian professional Jennifer Kirby as global brand ambassadors.
"We are delighted to extend our partnership with Manulife," said Ricki Lasky, Vice President, Tournament Business Affairs, LPGA. "Their passion for the sport of golf and support of the LPGA has been exemplary. They have set the standard for partner commitment in such a short time and we look forward to expanding our relationship for many years to come."
Since becoming title sponsor of one of only two Canadian LPGA Tour stops in 2012, Manulife has worked closely with the LPGA and tournament owner, Sports Properties International, to improve the tournament in a number of areas including enhancing the overall on-site experience for fans and players, the volunteer experience and charity programming with St. Mary's General Hospital Foundation.
To increase the funds generated during tournament week to support the St. Mary's General Hospital Foundation, Manulife will be corporately matching donations up to $60,000 through its Manulife Classic Match program. St. Mary's General Hospital Foundation will continue to be the tournament's official charity partner for the next two years.
For the third year, the tournament - with an increased purse of USD$1.5 million - will be held at Grey Silo Golf Club in Waterloo, Ontario from June 4 to 8, 2014. New this year, the winner of the Golf Channel's hit reality show "Big Break Florida" will receive an exemption into the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
For more information, visit www.manulifeclassic.ca.
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were approximately C$635 billion (US$574 billion) as at March 31, 2014. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation
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