WHILE envious glances are being cast towards their rugby counterparts and a deal with BT for an estimated £20 million to rename Murrayfield, the Scottish Golf Union is delighted nonetheless to have secured a valuable sponsorship extension for its national squads.
On board since 2007, Aberdeen Asset Management has committed to supporting the country’s leading amateurs through to the end of 2015, maintaining a portfolio that also includes backing in the professional ranks for Colin Montgomerie, Catriona Matthew, Paul Lawrie, Scott Henry and recent LET winner Kylie Walker.
“We are still some way behind media-driven sports,” said SGU marketing and sponsorship manager Ross Duncan, referring in the main to the whopping deal landed last week by Scottish Rugby.
“We brought £360,000 into our coffers through sponsorship last year and are on target to beat that this year,” he added yesterday at The Duke’s, venue for the European Individual Amateur Championship in August.
“The figure is creeping up and, in addition to cash, Aberdeen Asset Management provides valuable support of warm weather camps in both the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.”
The extension was welcomed by Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil, who has come through the SGU ranks and has a strong chance of playing in the Junior Ryder Cup at his home club in September.
“It’s great to have a major global brand such as Aberdeen Asset Management investing in the squad and the players really appreciate the backing,” said last year’s Scottish Boys’ champion.
“Increased funding gives us the opportunities to perform at the top level and compete around the world, so we can give them a return by putting in some big performances in the major events this year.
“We’d love to go one better in the European Team Championships this year, having been runners-up in 2013 and, with the Eisenhower Trophy in September and the European Individual in St Andrews, it’s a big year for the players.”
Three-times major winner Padraig Harrington said last year that he believed “every country in the world envies the Scottish Golf Union” due to it having Aberdeen Asset Management as a blanket sponsor of the game.
“We are very proud to support Scotland’s national amateur squads and delighted to see the progress of the young players emerging through the ranks at present. It’s vital for Scottish Golf that these players are given the best opportunities to develop their games,” said AAM chief executive Martin Gilbert.
“We are committed to helping Scottish golfers perform at the highest level, from our leading amateurs to our top professionals.”