Safeway ends run as Phoenix LPGA tournament sponsor

2008 will be Safeway's last year as the presenting sponsor for the annual Phoenix LPGA tournament Tournament Golf Foundation (TGF) and Safeway, Inc. today announced that the 2008 Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola will mark the conclusion of Safeway’s sponsorship of the Phoenix area LPGA event. 

“After this year’s tournament, we expect Safeway’s involvement in the Phoenix tournament will have resulted in more than $4 million in charitable contributions to local charities through The Safeway Foundation,” said Tom Maletis, President of Tournament Golf Foundation, the tournament owner and organizer. “We sincerely thank Safeway for six great years of support in Arizona and look forward to continuing our long-running relationship via the Safeway Classic in Portland. At a total of $2.1 million, it is important to note that the Safeway-sponsored tournaments contributed the largest and second largest amounts to charity of the 2007 LPGA tournaments. ”

“We are very proud that during our involvement with the LPGA in Phoenix, we hosted record crowds, made significant contributions to charity, and presented trophies to some of the greatest players in LPGA history,” said Safeway’s Marketing President, Mike Minasi. “However, both tournaments have rapidly grown to the point that we feel that, in order to maintain the quality experience for the players, fans and other sponsors, we need to consolidate our sponsorship and focus on our event in Portland. Our association with that event goes back over 15 years, and we will look forward to continuing our association with TGF and the LPGA in the Pacific Northwest.”

The LPGA has been a part of the Phoenix area since 1983. No new title sponsor has been determined for the event at this time, although efforts are underway to keep the Arizona event on the LPGA calendar.

“We appreciate everything that Safeway has done for the LPGA event in Phoenix and for its continued commitment to our Portland tournament,” said LPGA Deputy Commissioner Libba Galloway. “The LPGA will be working with TGF, Banner Health Foundation and Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club to secure the sponsorship necessary to continue providing the fans of Arizona with the best of women’s professional golf.”

In 2007, the Safeway International drew LPGA-record crowds of 151,000 fans to Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. The 2008 event will take place March 24-30 and will feature defending champion and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Lorena Ochoa, along with one of the top fields on the LPGA Tour, competing for a purse of $1.5 million.

Proceeds from the event benefit local Arizona charities through The Safeway Foundation. Since 1983, the tournament has raised over $12 million with the majority of proceeds directed to cancer care and programs through Banner Health Foundation. Charitable donations from the 2007 Safeway International were $1,000,000.

For more information on the Safeway International, visit http://www.safewaygolf.com/. For more information on Safeway, visit www.safeway.com.

 

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