ShopRite to remain LPGA tournament title sponsor through 2016
There is more good news for LPGA commissioner Mike Whan and Jon Podany, his chief marketing officer who left the PGA Tour in 2010 to work with his former Miami of Ohio football teammate. The LPGA has reached a contract extension with Wakefern Food Corp., the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club and Eiger Marketing Group (EMG) to continue sponsorship of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer through 2016, sources told GolfDigest.com.
Begun in 1986 as the Atlantic City LPGA Classic, the tournament became known at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in 1992 when Wakefern Food became the title sponsor. It was played through 2006 but was off the LPGA schedule for three seasons before returning 2010. Prior to the extension, Wakefern's sponsorship of the event was set to end after this year's tournament, which will take place May 29-June 1 on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, N.J.
Five years into his tenure as commissioner, Whan has the LPGA back up to 32 events on its schedule compared to 23 tournaments when he took over at the start of 2010. During that time the tour has attracted international firms such as Airbus, Yokohama Tires and JTBC, a Korean broadcaster, to sponsor U.S.-based events as well as extending several contracts with American companies.
Since 1992, ShopRite has donated more than $27 million to charities through sponsorship of the event. In 2013 alone, ShopRite raised nearly $1.3 million for charitable organizations, aiding hospitals, food banks, educational institutions and other agencies.