Cashing in on game's growth
By SHI FUTIAN| China Daily| Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Feng Shanshan hits her drive on the fourth hole during the second round of the Indy Women In Tech Championship Driven by Group 1001 held at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Club on Sept 27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. [Photo/VCG]
With Chinese women increasingly a force to be reckoned with on the international stage, and more and more young girls picking up golf clubs, the growing market value of the sport has piqued the interest of the commercial world.
Last week's Women's China Open, which concluded on Sunday in Xiamen, Fujian province, attracted 29 partners, with household furniture giant Red Star Macalline Group installed as the title sponsor for the first time.
"In 2019, we welcomed a new partner as the tournament's title sponsor, and Red Star Macalline is the first domestic title sponsor of the championship," said Tseng-Kwan Pen, the honorary vice-president of the China Golf Association and chairman of the China LPGA Tour.
"Just as the Women's China Open is a national brand, the tournament in turn needs support from the country's national enterprises. The social responsibility and dedication of these enterprises will make Chinese sports stronger."
Macalline's participation was also welcomed by Chinese No 1 Feng Shanshan.
"This is the first time that the tournament's title sponsor is a Chinese domestic brand, so I really want to thank Red Star Macalline for creating the opportunity for me to join the tournament again," said former world No 1 Feng.
Macalline hopes its association with Chinese golf proves to be a lasting one.
"This year, Red Star Macalline stands along with the country's top women golfers to present the best tournament to all the fans," said the group's president, Li Jianhong.
"We hope that our participation will contribute to Chinese women's golf and our golfers' preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics."
Song Dan, the deputy general manager of marketing for Red Star Macalline Group, said: "About 70 percent of customers in our membership schemes are female, and that proportion is growing.
"So, through the Women's China Open, we hope to improve our relationship with our female consumers.
"We can see the improving development of Chinese women's golf, and that's been proven by the growth of top Chinese golfers such as Feng Shanshan and Zhang Weiwei, who now consistently produce impressive performances at high-level tournaments.
"We will continue to follow the development of Chinese women's golf, hoping that Chinese golfers have a brighter future."