Sport | Golf

Omega look to extend title sponsorship

Five-year deal with Classic and Masters runs out next year

  • By Ashley Hammond Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:59 February 4, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Omega Vice-President and international sales director, Raynald Aeschlimann, has expressed confidence in the prospect of extending the brand’s five-year title sponsorship of the Dubai Desert Classic and Ladies’ Masters when it expires next year.

Speaking on the sidelines of last weekend’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher won by three shots from South Africa’s Richard Sterne at 22-under par, Aeschlimann said the deal’s continuity was important for the high-end Swiss watchmaker, which is owned by The Swatch Group.

With golf set for re-inclusion into the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year hiatus, Aeschlimann, whose brand is also heavily associated with swimming and sailing, as well as being the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games and the US PGA Tour, suggested the firm’s sponsorship could continue.

“We are talking together [with the relevant parties] and we are looking forward,” said Aeschlimann of the five-year title-sponsorship deal. “We are a key player in golf, the future is in golf and we will continue to be involved. This is one of the pillars in our strategy.

“What with the Olympics as well, we will always keep golf as one of our main activities.”

Aeschlimann, 43, who started as a sales and marketing project manager with Omega in 1996, added: “The exposure we get from this event as title sponsors is very important. We are very much present in the region and this gives us a platform to show the world we are a leading player in this sport.

“You cannot count every penny this exposure brings us but there’s a very good response to all that we’ve done in this dynamic and booming region.”

In reference to this year’s weakened field at the Desert Classic, Aeschlimann said: “I believe with next year being the 25th anniversary of the event there is a lot of discussion that there will be some key players coming to celebrate this milestone in the history of UAE golf. There will be some very big names coming.”

And of brand ambassadors such as men’s world no.14 Sergio Garcia and ladies’ world no.65 Michelle Wie, he added: “We are all part of a family and there is never any discussion about contracts expiring. For the public it makes sense that there is a continuity to our message.

“And we would be silly not to sponsor any tournaments if we had players playing in them. We’re focused on our activities and we really want to be one of the leading players in swimming and golf.”

Gulf News
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