The LPGA Tour expands its ties with the Garden State with a stop at a new venue for the organization and a new official partner.
SHI International and the Ladies Professional Golf Association announced on September 26 a multi-year agreement to establish the Somerset-based IT solutions provider as an official technology partner of the LPGA Tour. The news comes just days after the LPGA and Mizuho Americas revealed that the first Mizuho Americas Open will take place next year at Liberty National in Jersey City.
“Partnering with the LPGA allows SHI to have different conversations with business and IT leaders in a new and fun environment, growing our relationships through the love of golf and the admiration of world-class abilities that LPGA players possess,” said SHI. co-founder, president and CEO, Thai Lee. “We are thrilled to introduce our customers, business partners and employees to the sense of community, empowerment and growth experienced on LPGA tours that makes this partnership a natural fit.”
SHI said it was the largest minority, woman-owned business in the United States. The twinning will allow the LPGA to meet the changing technology needs of the association, while SHI and its customers will have opportunities for corporate branding and on-site hospitality suites to select the events of the tour. According to the announcement, the company will use “the LPGA as a technology storytelling platform” to underscore its commitment to supporting women’s sport.
“Thai Lee and his team at SHI have thrived in the IT industry by recognizing the benefits of supporting diversity across a company’s workforce and partner network,” said Kelly Hyne, LPGA Sales Manager. “We are delighted to welcome a new partner whose mission aligns so closely with our values. Together, we will continue to elevate our world-class athletes and our sport around the world and strive to achieve peak performance in all aspects of the organization.
SHI purchased the naming rights to Rutgers University’s Scarlet Knights football team’s Piscataway home, now SHI Stadium, in 2019.
Although it has featured other high-profile events, Liberty National Golf Club has never hosted the LPGA. This will change in 2023 when the Mizuho Americas Open is held from May 29 to June 4. The golfers will compete for a $2.75 million purse — one of the largest total non-major prize pools in the LPGA Championship for next year, according to the partners.
The Hudson County Country Club, located adjacent to Liberty State Park, hosted the Professional Golfers’ Association’s Northern Trust Tournament in 2021 and 2019.
The Mizuho Americas Open stop at Liberty National will take place concurrently with the American Junior Golf Association Invitational. This event will offer 24 junior golfers the chance to finish alongside the 120-player LPGA Tour for their own individual title.
The AJGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. According to the partners, this is the first time the AJGA and LPGA have teamed up to showcase future stars and current players simultaneously, “creating an unprecedented week of education and access to inspire the next generation of players on the LPGA Tour”.
The multi-year agreement between Mizuho America, LPGA and Liberty National is the first entry into sports sponsorship in the United States for the New York branch of the global financial institution. Former LPGA Tour player Michelle Wie West will serve as tournament host and brand ambassador for Mizuho.
“The Mizuho Americas Open is a purpose-driven partnership that aligns our shared values of opportunity, fairness, and fostering the next generation of talent,” Mizuho Americas President and CEO Shuji Matsuura said in a statement. a statement.
According to the announcement, the LPGA’s shutdown in New Jersey comes at a time of record global growth for the organization: in 2022, the Tour’s 32 events offered athletes a record $93.5 million in prize money. representing over 35 counties.
“As the world leader in women’s golf, the LPGA is committed to integrating and growing all parts of the women’s golf ecosystem and this event fits perfectly into that goal,” said the Tour Commissioner. the LPGA, Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “From the first time we met with the Mizuho and Liberty National teams, it was clear how committed they were both to making this event a game changer for players, employees and fans and, more broadly, to use the tournament as a platform to advance opportunities for girls and women on and off the golf course.
The Mizuho Americas Open is owned and operated by New York-based sports agency Excel Sports Management, whose representation includes many top players and rising stars from the LPGA Tour. “With a committed title sponsor, a unique format, an influential tournament host and a first-class venue, we have all the elements in place to create a special experience for our players, sponsors and golf and sports enthusiasts. here in the New York metro area,” said Excel Vice President Kevin Hopkins.