Women Golfers Receive Massive Cash Boost
I have complained long and loud about the huge disparity in prize money on the men’s and women’s professional golf tours.
There is still a long, long way to go, but the US Women’s Open has a new partner and will be offering record-breaking prize money this year, as befits such a prestigious major.
The USGA has confirmed that Ally, a financial services company with a strong connection to women’s sport, has become the new presenting sponsor for the US Women’s Open. The purse for the 2024 US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club will be a record $12 million. Three years ago, the total purse was $5.5 million.
“Partnering with Ally allows us to not only continue elevating the US Women’s Open, but to also further our commitment to the future of the game via our US National Development Program,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan in a release. “Ally has established itself as a force in sports, with a passion for equity across the industry. Its brand values and actions align perfectly with ours, and I can’t wait to see what we are able to do together.”
(Rose Zhang - Surely a Contender in 2024)
ProMedica, the first sponsor in the tournament’s history, parted ways with the USGA a little more than a year after the USGA launched a 10-year sponsorship agreement with the Ohio-based not-for-profit integrated health and well-being organization. The two companies reached a separation agreement last year after ProMedica’s business took a downward turn.
Ally’s has a track record in women’s sport. It recently negotiated a landmark deal with Disney in which an impressive 90 percent of its media investment will be allocated to women’s sports. That includes an expansion of game highlights, features and regular “SportsCenter” segments dedicated to women’s sports. And about time too!
Ally also became the first presenting sponsor of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament and Women’s Soccer Championship as well as exclusive presenting sponsor of the 2023 ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
It has pledged to reach equal spending in men’s and women’s sports by 2028 and is already four years ahead of schedule.
The USGA had pledged to increase the US Women’s Open purse to $12 million by 2027 and has achieved its target three years ahead of schedule.
Ally has also signed World No.1 Lilia Vu to its roster of female athletes which includes former footballer and ESPN reporter Julie Foudy, WNBA player Nneka Ogwumike and NWSL player Sophia Smith.
“Golf is on a meteoric rise and its fanbase is more diverse than ever, bringing it in line with those who choose to bank with Ally,” Stephanie Marciano, head of sports marketing at Ally, said in a statement. “The USGA is best-in-class and presented us a powerful opportunity to positively impact both the women’s and men’s game, as well as engage a new group of sports fans across the country. We couldn’t be more excited to team up and deliver on that promise together.”
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