Golf Sponsors Rolex & Omega Square Off at Ryder Cup

By Community | September 28, 2012

The Ryder Cup began today, but it wasn’t the only battle commencing in Chicago.

Swiss watch manufacturers Rolex and Omega have re-established a feud following Omega ending PGA of America’s 17-year sponsorship with Rolex by signing a five-year deal.

It was “a major coup” for Omega. Rolex had “practically owned the golf market until this deal came along,” and the tension between the two companies escalated to the point this summer that Greg Norman was banned from a Ryder Cup press conference and kept from playing the Senior British Open pro-am.

Omega’s deal with the PGA of America, which goes through 2016, gives the company marketing rights at the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

However, it gets only the Ryder Cup in America as The European Tour, which has joint ownership of the Ryder Cup and negotiates its own marketing deals, has a longtime relationship with Rolex.

The PGA of America runs the Ryder Cup this year, meaning Rolex is not allowed any presence at Medinah Country Club in the Chicago suburbs.