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Bridgestone extend European Tour sponsorship

February 9, 2016

Bridgestone UK's tyre division has extended its presence in golf with the sponsorship of three major tournaments in 2016.

The premium tyre manufacturer has signed as an official partner of this year's European Tour British Masters, which will be hosted by former World no.1 Luke Donald at The Grove in Hertfordshire from 13-16 October. After a seven year absence, the British Masters made a triumphant return to the European Tour at Woburn last year, where England Golf academy graduate Matt Fitzpatrick ran out the eventual winner.

As part of its move into golf, Bridgestone will become the headline sponsor of England's first Challenge Tour event in three years. One of 24 high profile events on the European Challenge Tour, the Bridgestone Challenge will be contested at Heythorp Park in Oxfordshire between 26-29 August.

Bridgestone will also launch the Bridgestone DriveGuard Trophy as part of its commitment to increasing participation levels in the amateur game. The amateur championship is open to all 1,900 clubs and their 650,000 Club members players.

The competition is free to enter and welcomes entries from golfers of all ages and handicaps. Each club winner will go on to play in regional DriveGuard Trophy finals in June and July, with the triumphant golfers in the regional finals going on to play in the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge event itself in August.

Linking its golf properties together, the winners of the Bridgestone Challenge pro-am will win a trip to the British Masters to play in the official pro-am with some of the biggest and best names in the sport.    

Bridgestone's north region consumer sales and marketing director Farrell Dolan said: "We have identified huge potential from the world of golf and are extremely excited to be entering into a series of sponsorships covering such a broad range of the sport.

"We also feel that the core values that underpin the sport are synonymous with our own, most notably that of respect, integrity and excellence.

"We will be engaging with hundreds of amateur players who will already be familiar with our brand and we have structured our sponsorships to actually give them an opportunity to play at the very top of the game.

"To be able to leverage our innovative new DriveGuard category of tyres through this sports sponsorship is also great news, as we are able to amplify the product to a captive and vibrant new audience.

"Not only this, but the exposure we will generate from our British Masters partnership and English Challenge Tour title sponsorships is vast, the latter of which will be making a welcome return to the golfing calendar after a three year absence."

Jamie Birkmyre, European Tour Director of Championship Management, said: "It is fantastic news that Bridgestone are becoming a partner of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports.

"The tournament was a huge success on its reintroduction to The European Tour last year and it is a real coup to be able to enjoy the backing of the world's largest tyre manufacturer.

"It is great that Bridgestone are so committed to growing English golf and fitting that they are supporting this event, won last year of course by England's own Matt Fitzpatrick.

"We are looking forward to what promises to be a similarly exciting week in October when we visit The Grove."

Alain de Soultrait, Challenge Tour Director, said: "We are delighted to be able to partner with Bridgestone and are excited to be bringing the Challenge Tour back to England, aided by the support of England Golf.

"The Challenge Tour offers the best way for talented young golfers to develop their professional game and a large number of our recent success stories have been English players.

"Major Champion Justin Rose and Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter both came through our ranks while Tommy Fleetwood and Andrew Johnston both finished top of the Challenge Tour Rankings in recent years.

"The commitment Bridgestone are showing to encourage the growth of the game in England will hopefully lead to similar success stories in future years, and there is no better place for talented youngsters to come and be inspired than the Bridgestone Challenge in August."

Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director said: "England Golf is delighted to be able to support the Bridgestone English Challenge. This really does provide great access into professional golf and gives us the opportunity to assist in the transition of amateur players to the professional game in a more seamless manner.

"We are sure that Bridgestone's investment in golf should have a positive impact at all levels in England and the Bridgestone DriveGuard Trophy will give aspiring club golfers the opportunity to experience the game at its highest level."

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