Tokyo, 13 September 2012, — Ricoh Company, Ltd (President and CEO Shiro Kondo) announces that it has decided to extend its agreement to sponsor the RICOH Women's British Open, one of the world's four major ladies' golf tournaments ("the Tournament"), to 2016. This is the second renewal of the agreement since Ricoh began to sponsor the Tournament in 2007. The new agreement will run for three years from 2014 to 2016.
The Tournament is run by the Ladies' Golf Union (LGU), and the total prize money is 2.75 million dollars. This year it will be held for four days from Thursday, September 13 to Sunday, September 16 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England. Prior to this, Ricoh held a press conference and announced the extension of the sponsorship at the venue. Paula Creamer, a premier tour professional with whom Ricoh has a commercial endorsement contract, attended the press conference, and commented: "on behalf of all the players I would like to say how very grateful we are for Ricoh's continued support and I hope we can all go out there this week and reward their support with some high quality golf on this beautiful course."
The extension of the agreement to sponsor RICOH Women's British Open came about because of the agreement between the LGU, which seeks support for the event by companies that emphasize the spirit of golfing, and Ricoh, which is seeking to enhance its global brand by supporting major golfing events.
LGU and the Women's British Open
The Ladies' Golf Union (LGU) was founded in 1893 as the governing body for ladies' amateur golf in England and Ireland. The LGU today is formed by members from the golf unions and associations of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, with a membership of about 2,750 clubs and about 220,000 players. The LGU Executive Council, the decision-making body, consists of a president, chairman, honorary treasurer, and representatives from the golf unions and associations. In 1893, when it was founded, the LGU held the first Ladies' British Amateur Championship in Royal Lytham & St. Anne's.
The Women's British Open, first held in 1976, was incorporated into the USLPGA Tour schedule in 1994, and was promoted to become a major golf event in 2001.In 2007, Ricoh first became the tournament sponsor and has been sponsoring the event for the sixth consecutive year. The defending champion this year is Yani Tseng from Taiwan, who also won in 2010 and 2011. She is aiming to win her third consecutive title.