Manulife extends backing of Canadian LPGA Tour event

Canadian headquartered financial services company Manulife has extended its title sponsorship agreement with the LPGA Classic women’s golf tournament.

The one-year renewal will cover the 2017 edition of the event, which has been confirmed will take place in June at Whistle Bear Golf Club in the Canadian province of Ontario. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the 2017 prize fund will be increased to $1.7m (€1.5m) from $1.6m.

Manulife’s two-year title sponsorship agreement with the event was due to expire after this year’s edition, which takes place at Whistle Bear from August 29 to September 4. The club is located in the city of Cambridge, which is part of the Waterloo municipality.

“This property has performed extremely well for us over the last four years and really is a great opportunity for us to promote the Manulife brand in the Kitchener-Waterloo community,” Marianne Harrison, Manulife Canada’s president and chief executive, told the Cambridge Times newspaper.

“One great thing about the tournament as well is it does inject millions of dollars into the local economy and that really benefits the restaurants, the hotels and many of the businesses around. The vitality of the community where we operate is pretty important to us here at Manulife, and that was a critical reason as well.”

Manulife currently sponsors US golfers Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang, and Canada’s Jennifer Kirby. The company has been the title sponsor of the Manulife LPGA Classic since the tournament's inception in 2012. The event is one of only two Canadian LPGA Tour stops.