Golf Clap: Lexus sponsors USGA

Unless we see LS 460s and Lucernes out on the greens tearing it up in a combination demolition derby-polo match, we're going back to sleep. In a snore-inducing move, Lexus has signed up with the US Golf Association to be the official vehicle of the US Open, US Women's Open, US Senior Open, and US Amateur. Lexus will also be the USGA's first-ever automotive partner. Tiger, however, will stick with Buick.

Lexus stepped up their involvement with the sport in an effort to further engage their customers, who are apparently passionate about golf. In support of their collaboration with the USGA, Lexus will be rolling out a multifaceted media campaign including advertising, direct marketing, events, and, of course, the auto brand will be on-site at USGA events. We're sure to see more Lexus branding and signage in television coverage, as well. The Lexus golf team has been expanded by the addition of some members from the Toyota team, and there's some big names playing for the brand. Lexus is actually involved in sponsoring many different types of sporting events -- polo, tennis, golf, sailing; a laundry-list of rarefied sports.

We suppose that there probably are a fair amount of Lexi in country-club parking lots, and most of them can haul a foursome's worth of clubs without a hiccup. Golf just seems so... dispassionate and indifferent from a car guy's point of view. Then again, that's the prevailing car guy notion of Lexus, as well; perhaps it really does make for a neat dovetail. Golf is not particularly easy to excel at, nor is it easy to build cars as obsessively tweezed as the Lexus lineup, but neither golf nor luxo-Toyotas get our adrenaline pumping as much as a simple parking lot autocross with something as mundane as a '91 Scoupe.

You can find the press release after the jump.

[Source: Lexus via Automotive News - sub req'd]


01/25/2007 - Orlando, FL

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.

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