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Greg Turner’s GT tour seeking corporate backing

Greg Turner’s GT tour seeking corporate backing

Leading New Zealand golfer turned Golf Tour of New Zealand founder Greg Turner has begun to court the nation’s leading corporations to secure extra sponsorship for his Golf Tour of New Zealand (GTNZ) next year. After threes years of development and successful staging five events, Turner has launched a campaign to have major corporates help guide New Zealand’s best young golfers on to the pro tour. NZ’s leading amateurs are the equal of elite amateurs in other countries and New Zealand has a proud tradition of punching above its weight in world sport. But on the world stage there is only one New Zealand golfer (Michael Campbell, ranked 24th) in the world’s top 100 professionals and two (David Smail, ranked 165th) in the top 200. Our third ranked athlete (Mahal Pearce) is 572nd. Our top woman (Lynette Brooky) is 138th. Less than a decade ago we had 8 in the top 200.

``If we don’t adapt the way we do things now I can only see this downward trend continuing. We desperately need a structure in place that reflects modern realities, both for the sake of a generation of aspiring New Zealanders and for those who would gladly support given a rational opportunity to do so”.

``To do this we are asking companies to considered securing a wide range of individual and tournament properties. So we are looking for a "family" of sponsors to partner us in the initiative. We are bringing a fresh, multi-dimensional opportunity and are very happy to tailor it to the needs of individual companies.

``A family sponsor might receive a range of properties that could include title sponsorship of specific events, GTNZ scholarships (supporting a rookie pro at all GTNZ events), preferential access to GTNZ mentors such as Russell Coutts and Anton Oliver, attendance for a small elite group in a special outing with mentors and top golfers including Michael Campbell. Given the nature of golfing careers, this provides the foundation for relationships that may last decades. How would you like to have formed a long-term relationship between your company and Michael Campbell a decade ago?” ``We recognise that the world of both business and sport is changing at an accelerating rate. We are therefore committed to developing a thorough understanding of our commercial partners circumstances so as to fully exploit our array of opportunities on their behalf.

``Traditional models in many areas are inappropriate in today’s environment so we wish to push that envelope; to combine the outcomes of helping our elite young players become world champions while providing true value to our supporters. ‘’

Next year GTNZ has confirmed tournaments in Tauranga, Wairakei and Taranaki, with plans underway for events in Wanganui, Christchurch and Wellington. Turner said GTNZ is part of a broader initiative providing a pathway for New Zealand’s leading players to fulfil their potential on the world stage. “I’m also sure we can provide an innovative environment in which our commercial partners can be both benefactor and beneficiary”.

The GTNZ board includes Coutts, Campbell, Oliver, Grant Fox, Brett Steven and Tom Schnackenberg along with assistance from some of NZ’s leading businessmen.

Golf remains the largest participation sport in New Zealand with over 138,000 club players and in excess of 502,000 playing some golf annually.


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