HSBC Head of Sponsorship Frustrated by No Shows and Appearance Fees

By Community | October 31, 2012

The head of sponsorship for HSBC, Giles Morgan, who has been critical of the payment of player appearance fees, said he was disappointed that the world number one and two players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, would not play in the HSBC-sponsored World Championship.

Both players were in China this week to player a lucrative exhibition match that is understood to have paid US$3 million in appearance fees.

Speaking at a business forum, Morgan said he believed asking sponsors to pay for appearance fees as well as prize funds is unsustainable.

Morgan said other sponsors are also concerned about the sponsorship fees they are paying and that golf is not immune to the global financial difficulties.

“On one hand we are delighted to have 13 of the world’s top 20 here, but of course we’re disappointed not to have the two top players in the world,” Giles Morgan, group head of sponsorship for HSBC, told the Daily Telegraph.

“Both have sent me apologies, but this is an event which should be regarded by all players – as it is by the tours and the media – as one of the top events in the world.

“Therefore I feel strongly that the top players should be here. I believe that golfers have a responsibility to their sponsors.

“Without the sponsors there isn’t professional golf. I speak on behalf of the industry.

“I feel very strongly, as I know a number of sponsors do – particularly in a downturn, particularly when there are financial difficulties around the world – that golf cannot be immune either.”