The North American division of Japanese automotive firm Honda has agreed a five-year extension to its long-running title sponsorship of the PGA Tour golf tournament currently being held at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
The tournament will continue to be known as the Honda Classic until 2021. Honda’s existing rights agreement, which was signed in 2013, was due to expire after this year’s event.
Honda has been a partner of the tournament since 1982, making it the longest running title sponsor of a PGA Tour event.
“One of the things we really talked about in the extension was keeping the team together,” Steve Morikawa, American Honda’s assistant vice-president of corporate and community relations, told the Palm Beach Post newspaper. “That’s Honda as the title sponsor, the PGA Tour, the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and (Honda Classic executive director) Ken Kennerly and his management team.
“Before we started together with this team over 10 years ago, it was really a tournament that moved around quite a bit. The amount of people coming to the tournament was in the range of 30,000 and 40,000 people. Funds were just OK. But in those 10 years we’ve gone now to where we’re drawing almost 200,000 people and giving over $2.5m (€2.3m) so part of this extension is that we all join together and agree to work together for the benefit of the community.”
The 2016 Honda Classic began on Monday and concludes on Sunday. Padraig Harrington of Ireland is the reigning champion.