January 25, 2007 – Orlando, FL - Lexus and the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced an unprecedented multi-year partnership that makes Lexus the automotive partner of the USGA and the official vehicle of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur. As a result of this landmark agreement, which was announced today at a press conference featuring Annika Sorenstam, Lexus becomes the first automotive partner in the USGA's 112-year history.
"Lexus has been involved with golf for many years, but we see how passionate our customers are about this sport and we wanted to step up our involvement," said Keith Dahl, national manager, event marketing for Lexus. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to partner at a very high level in the sport and engage our customers in unprecedented ways."
The USGA agreement strengthens the relationship that Lexus has with the game of golf and allows the company to use this partnership and USGA championships as opportunities to provide its customers with premium experiences around the sport of golf.
"The obvious fit is that the USGA will now be able to offer Lexus vehicles and provide the players with an enhanced experience at selected USGA national championships while Lexus gets to showcase its product line at the very top events in golf—the USGA national championships," said USGA President Walter Driver. "We are looking at all of the possibilities and the things we can do together for the benefit of golf."
Lexus plans to support this corporate partnership through an integrated marketing and communications campaign that includes advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotions, dealer events, interactive support and online marketing as well as a number of specific USGA membership and onsite activities at championships, such as hospitality, clinics, charitable tie-ins, signage and special events.
In addition to announcing its USGA corporate partnership, Lexus also introduced its 2007 team of professional golfers. Lexus golfers Annika Sorenstam, Peter Jacobsen, Raymond Floyd and Nick Watney are joined by golfers previously in the Toyota stable: Mark O'Meara, Jeff Gallagher, Trevor Dodds (PGA), Janice Moodie (LPGA), Gil Morgan, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Mark Pfeil, Charles Sifford (PGA Champions), Greg Twiggs and Esteban Toledo (PGA Nationwide) to the team.
"I'm proud to represent the Lexus brand and the high quality it represents," said Sorenstam, a top member of the Lexus team in golf and the defending Women's Open champion. "Certainly I welcome a partnership like this, where the shared expertise of two leading companies can help us all do more to benefit the game."
Championships will be conducted at the following times and venues: the U.S. Open will be played June 14-17 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.; the U.S. Women's Open will be played June 28-July 1 at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.; the U.S. Senior Open will be conducted July 5-8 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.; and the U.S. Amateur will be held Aug. 20-26 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico. These nations together comprise more than half the world's golfers and courses. The Association's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, maintains an official Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $53 million over 10 years to programs that seek to grow the game. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
Lexus has become synonymous with luxury since its introduction in 1989. By offering some of the finest quality luxury vehicles and providing benchmark customer service, Lexus has remained the top-selling luxury nameplate in the United States for seven years in a row. Lexus and its 221 dealers have repeatedly achieved high honors for both the products they sell and the customer service they provide.