US financial services company Mastercard has agreed a three-year partnership with the Women’s British Open, adding to its long-standing backing of men’s golf major The Open.
Mastercard’s association with the Women’s Open will commence from this year’s tournament at Woburn Golf Club from August 1-4.
Mastercard currently serves as a Patron of The Open, whose 2019 event got underway at Royal Portrush today (Thursday), and the company said its association with the women’s event shows its commitment to gender equality in sports and demonstrates the continued focus on gender balanced marketing.
As part of the partnership, fans will receive a £5 (€5.50/$6) saving on entry tickets bought onsite at the Women’s British Open when paying with Mastercard and further cardholder offers will be made available to fans and spectators at Woburn during the championship.
Ann Cairns, executive vice-chairman of Mastercard, said: “This brand partnership with the AIG Women’s British Open, not only gives us the chance to directly support female golf athletes; but it also offers new opportunities to engage women and girls who are new to the game, as well as providing priceless experience to existing players and fans from across the world.”
Earlier this month, The R&A moved to address the disparity in prize money for The Open and its women’s counterpart by announcing that the 2019 Women’s British Open will see its prize purse increase by almost 40 per cent.
Taking place on the Marquess’ Course at Woburn, the Women’s British Open now offers the second-highest prize fund of the five major championships in women’s golf at $4.5m (€4m). The increase comes in the first year of US insurance group AIG’s partnership as title sponsor and will see the winner take home a first prize of $675,000.
AIG in November agreed a five-year deal to become title sponsor of the Women’s British Open. AIG succeeds Japanese electronics company Ricoh in the role, with a contract running from 2019 to 2023. It is AIG’s first title sponsorship in professional golf.