In 2023, Challenger became the naming-rights sponsor for the PGA Tour of Australasia. Managing director and chief executive officer Nick Hamilton explains why golf is a good fit for the retirement-income provider

Ahead of the summer of golf, the PGA Tour of Australasia announced a three-year partnership with Challenger Limited that will see the investment management firm become the circuit’s exclusive naming-rights sponsor. The breeding ground for our next generation of champions will be known as the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia, featuring 18 events and more than $9 million in prizemoney.

The arrangement also sees Challenger become a partner with Golf Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia, PGA Legends Tour and Golf Management Australia. Initiatives with vocational PGA members are another element.

Managed by chief executive Nick Hamilton, Challenger Limited is an ASX-listed investment management firm overseeing $105 billion in assets (as at June 30, 2023). Challenger operates three core investment businesses with the aim of providing customers with financial security for a better retirement: a fiduciary Funds Management division; an APRA-regulated Life division; and an APRA-regulated authorised deposit-taking institution. Challenger Life is Australia’s largest provider of annuities.

At first glance, the partnership between Challenger and the tour may appear unusual. So we asked Hamilton – a golfer since childhood – for his thoughts about the relationship.

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How did Challenger come to be the naming-rights sponsor for the PGA Tour of Australasia?

Our brand sponsorship with the PGA Tour of Australia is actually our first naming rights sponsorship. We did a great deal of research – including engaging with our customers – where it became clear that they shared a common passion for sports as well as arts and culture. Golf was the frontrunner and seemed like the natural fit for our brand. It’s a big deal for us and something that myself and our team are really excited about. Our partnership with the PGA Tour of Australasia, including Golf Australia, the Women’s PGA, PGA Legends Tour and Golf Management Australia, is a great opportunity to elevate our brand and highlight our retirement expertise to our customers on a topic we’re both passionate about. 

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Why did you choose to support golf – rather than cricket, tennis or one of the football codes?

Golf emerged as the perfect fit due to its popularity among those aged 45 and above – our key demographic. It’s a strategic move to engage with our customers, specifically those preparing for retirement, and in retirement, while also building brand awareness. Our golf partnership aligns with our commitment to supporting communities nationwide, making it a win-win for both Challenger and the sport.

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Apart from the financial aspect of the partnership, can you give an example of how you hope golf may benefit from your involvement?

Challenger is all about providing financial security in retirement. We know financial security in retirement is closely associated with health and confidence, which lets individuals focus on their passions, like playing golf, to ensure Australians enjoy a long and active retirement. This sponsorship will provide us the opportunity to build awareness about long-term financial security and the role it can play in an active retirement. Australia has an ageing population and people are living longer. There is necessity for retirees to understand their options to ensure their savings last throughout retirement and retirees have financial security. 

Our golf partnership also supports communities across Australia. By supporting the grassroots we can ensure that talented players can thrive at the highest level. Australia is a great sporting nation, and witnessing the next generation of talented junior golfers being better able to achieve their potential, both locally and abroad, will be very exciting for us to participate in. 

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What tangible benefits do you hope to achieve for Challenger by entering the golf market?

The golf partnership provides a year-round showcase with exposure to 90 events, including majors, reaching a broadcast audience of 11 million. We see it as a significant opportunity to connect with our customers and advisers, solidifying Challenger as the go-to name for retirement income. 

 getty images: Icon Sportswire