Hero MotoCorp was on Thursday confirmed as new title sponsor of the Dubai Desert Classic.
The world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles, which has a long history of event sponsorships on the DP World Tour, has put its name to the circuit’s longest-running event in the Middle East. It replaces Slync.io, who served as lead sponsor last year.
The 34th edition of the Desert Classic takes place at Emirates Golf Club this month, running from January 26-29. The second Rolex Series event of the 2023 DP World Tour season – it therefore carries a $9 million purse – is headlined by world No 1 and two-time winner Rory McIlroy.
Hero MotoCorp’s relationship with the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, began in 2015 at the Hero Indian Open, and has included the Hero Challenge and the Hero Open.
Next week, the company sponsors the inaugural Hero Cup – a new team match-play event designed to provide European players experience in that format ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.
In a statement released on Thursday, Dr Pawan Munjal, chairman and chief executive of Hero MotoCorp, said: “We continue to have a long-term partnership with the DP World Tour; the Hero Dubai Desert Classic is an extension of this engagement.
“We are delighted to be associated with this iconic event and will now be supporting two much-awaited marquee tournaments in the Middle East – the Hero Cup and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic – as part of the traditional Desert Swing.
“It surely promises to be an exciting start to the season, and we look forward to seeing world-class golf on display.”
Simon Corkill, executive tournament director at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, added: “We are delighted to welcome Hero MotoCorp as the new title partner of the Dubai Desert Classic as we once again prepare to host a global field at Emirates Golf Club.
“Hero have been supportive of golf, and particularly innovation in the game, for a number of years and we look forward to working together to continue the evolution of the tournament as we enter our second year as part of the Rolex Series.”
First played in 1989, the Desert Classic’s roll of honour includes Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia and McIlroy.
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It was last year elevated to Rolex Series status and this season forms one of five events in that select group. It represents one leg of the tour’s Desert Swing, which this year comprises a four-week stretch beginning with the Hero Cup. That is followed by the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – another Rolex Series event – and the Desert Classic, before concluding with the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the DP World Tour, said: “It is my pleasure to welcome Hero MotoCorp as the new title partner of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. We are proud to further develop our long-term relationship with Hero MotoCorp and thank Dr Pawan Munjal for his continued support of golf in general and the DP World Tour in particular.
“January promises to bring yet another memorable edition of this historic event, as we once again welcome some of the best players in the world to Dubai for the second Rolex Series event of 2023, two weeks after an exciting season-opener in the new Hero Cup.”