"I welcome a partnership like this, where the shared expertise of two leading companies can help us all do more to benefit the game."
You're thinking, which two companies would that be that Annika Sorenstam is referring to? Why, Lexus and the USGA!
From USGA.org's news division (shouldn't that be USGA.com, if they're a company?):
USGA Signs Corporate Partnership With Lexus
January 25, 2007
Far Hills, N.J. – Lexus and the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced an unprecedented multi-year partnership that makes Lexus the automotive partner of the USGA and the official car of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur. As a result of this landmark agreement, which was announced at a press conference featuring Annika Sorenstam, Lexus becomes the first automotive partner in the USGA’s 112-year history.
Yes, the U.S. Amateur. Uh Mr. Ouimet, do you remember which color your Lexus is? The valet's can't seem to find it! We have 312 of them!
"Lexus has been involved with golf for many years, but we see how passionate our customers are about this sport and we wanted to step up our involvement," said Deborah Meyer, vice president of marketing for Lexus. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to partner at a very high level in the sport and engage our customers in unprecedented ways."
The USGA agreement strengthens the relationship that Lexus has with the game of golf and allows the company to use this partnership and USGA championships as opportunities to provide its customers with premium experiences around the sport of golf.
Ah, more $pecial acce$$ for $pecial people.
"The obvious fit is that the USGA will now be able to offer Lexus vehicles and provide the players with an enhanced experience at selected USGA national championships while Lexus gets to showcase its product line at the very top events in golf—the USGA national championships," said USGA President Walter Driver. "We are looking at all of the possibilities and the things we can do together for the benefit of golf."
It's for the good of the game!
Possibilities? That means Walter is really having trouble deciding between oak or mahogany for the dash of his new LS.
Lexus plans to support this corporate partnership through an integrated marketing and communications campaign that includes advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotions, dealer events, interactive support and online marketing as well as a number of specific USGA membership and onsite activities at championships, such as hospitality, clinics, charitable tie-ins, signage and special events.
Exciting, isn't it? Ah, and now our money quote:
"I’m proud to represent the Lexus brand and the high quality it represents," said Sorenstam, a top member of the Lexus team in golf and the defending Women’s Open champion. "Certainly I welcome a partnership like this, where the shared expertise of two leading companies can help us all do more to benefit the game."
Hey, she's really not that far off. But are they a private or publicly traded company?
And for those of you keeping score at home, the USGA at least had the good taste to omit this graph from the emailed copy when posting it on their web site:
In addition to announcing its USGA corporate partnership, Lexus also introduced its 2007 team of professional golfers. Lexus golfers Annika Sorenstam, Peter Jacobsen, Raymond Floyd and Nick Watney are joined by golfers previously in the Toyota stable:
Key word stable...
Mark O’Meara, Jeff Gallagher, Trevor Dodds (PGA), Janice Moodie (LPGA), Gil Morgan, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Mark Pfeil, Charles Sifford (PGA Champions), Greg Twiggs and Esteban Toledo (PGA Nationwide) to the team.