Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
THE 2017 Old Mutual Zimbabwe Open was launched at Royal Harare yesterday, with a new sponsor coming on board to bankroll the country’s flagship tournament, which is part of the Sunshine Tour. Integrated financial services provider Old Mutual have once again reunited with the golfing fraternity to sponsor the prestigious tournament. Old Mutual, through their subsidiary, CABS, sponsored the tournament from 1995-2001. The tournament was launched with a big field expected to tee off in the R1,8 million tournament which begins in a fortnight at Royal Harare.
The annual event is in its seventh year running after its return to the Sunshine Tour in 2010 after a decade in the wilderness.
Old Mutual, with the help of several partners, made sure that the event would go ahead after the expiry of the Zambezi Tour and Delta Beverages’ five-year contract.
Old Mutual will be supported by Delta Beverages, ZOL Zimbabwe, Tongaat Hullets, and Sahwira Events Management during this year’s tournament.
Speaking at the official launch, Old Mutual chief executive Jonas Mushosho said they were happy to play a leading role in the country’s flagship golf tournament.
“We are happy as Old Mutual to be sponsoring the Zimbabwe Open 2017 and we hope to bring entertainment and we have always supported sport.
“Our return to golf was necessitated by need to give back to the community and create conducive environments for business people who happen to be our clients.
“As you know, we have supported golf since the inception of the Zimbabwe Open in 1988 and we also became the associate sponsor from 1995-2001 through our subsidiary CABS.
“The need to help has seen us support several sports like tennis, through the Future Masters, rugby, road races and cricket, among other disciplines.
“We hope to have a memorable 2017 Old Mutual Zimbabwe Open and we hope to continue working with the Zambezi Tour and ZGA,” said Mushosho.
Zambezi Tour chairman Livingstone Gwata said they were happy to bring on board the Zimbabwe Open 2017.
“We have always put our pillar sponsors into three distinct categories, namely the title sponsor, the associate sponsors and the anchor sponsors.
“We also welcome our associate sponsors; Sahwira Events and Golden Pilsener at +$50 000 each and Old Mutual at +$70 000.
“It takes the generosity and corporate social responsibility of our sponsors to make an event of this nature possible.
“Our fundraising strategy as a committee has always started with securing the buy in of the pillar or main sponsors,” Gwata said.