Posted on Wednesday 9 May 2012 by Ulster Business

Irish open

Investment management firm Brewin Dolphin have been confirmed as an official sponsor of this year’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush.

The company is one of the UK’s largest independent private client investment managers and has offices in both Belfast and Dublin.

Reports earlier this week have centred on the fact that the golf event, which takes place between June 28 and July 1, is still without a headline sponsor.

But the European Tour confirmed today that Brewin Dolphin had been confirmed as an “official sponsor” for the Irish Open, which is taking place at Royal Portrush for the first time in over 50 years.

James Finnigan, The European Tour’s Commercial Director for the Irish Open, commented: “Brewin Dolphin is a welcome addition to The European Tour’s family of sponsors and we are delighted that they will be part of one of the most eagerly anticipated Irish Opens in many years.”

Brewin Dolphin is celebrating its 250th anniversary by sponsoring a number of high profile events, including the Chelsea Flower Show in London and the Commodores’ Cup in Cowes. The company said it saw sponsorship of the Irish Open as an opportunity to raise awareness of the firm across the island.

Philip Browne, Marketing Director at Brewin Dolphin said: “We are so pleased to be able to join the Irish Open on The European Tour and it gives us such a wonderful platform to highlight the presence of our two nearest offices in Belfast and Dublin.”

Since the recession the Irish Open has struggled to secure a long term title sponsor and tourism body Discover Ireland helped cover the cost of staging it when no headline sponsor was found last year.

The Northern Ireland Executive remain the main backer of the 2012 tournament, which has a prize fund of €2m.

However, Tourism Minister Arlene Foster welcomed Brewin Dolphin’s addition to the list of sponsors for the event.

“This is really great news for the Irish Open at Portrush. The Irish Open is respected throughout Europe by professional golfers and spectators alike and today’s announcement by Brewin Dolphin is a major coup for the event,” she said.

“Sponsorship is a commercial matter and the responsibility of the European Tour. Over recent years, many European Tour events have successfully taken place without a title sponsor due to the current tough economic climate. However, I am aware that a number of other significant sponsors have already been secured and further expressions of interest are being followed up. Details of these additional sponsors will be announced shortly.”

The Minister added: “I also know that the European Tour are delighted with ticket sales which have been at unprecedented levels. Our target is to attract around 90,000 visitors over the four days of the tournament. I am confident that we will exceed this and I look forward to the European Tour's update on ticket sales tomorrow.

“The Northern Ireland Executive is committed to ensuring that the Irish Open at Portrush will be a success. The hosting of this important tournament will give a great boost to the Northern Ireland economy along with the tourism sector and we aim to use it to encourage potential investors to consider Northern Ireland as an investment location.”

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