Tokyo, December 13, 2006 - JCB, a major global payment brand, and its international subsidiary JCB International announced that it is sponsoring the Royal Trophy 2007 Golf Championship, bringing together some of the greatest golf players from Europe and Asia to compete in Bangkok Thailand from January 12 to 14, 2007.
The Royal Trophy is organized by the Hong Kong-based Entertainment Group Limited to give the best European and Asian players an unparalleled opportunity to play against each other. The Royal Trophy Europe vs Asia Golf Championship was first held in 2006, and is scheduled to be held annually in Thailand until 2010. The Asian and European teams, each composed of a captain and eight players, compete for three days of exciting matches over the course of the championship.
The first Royal Trophy championship was held in January 2006, with the Asian team led by captain Masahiro Kuramoto from Japan, and featuring eight players from five countries in Asia, including Keiichiro Fukabori and Yasuharu Imano from Japan, S. K. Ho from Korea, and Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand. The European team was led by captain Seve Ballesteros from Spain, with eight other players from five countries in Europe, including David Howell from England and Thomas Bjorn from Denmark. More than 8,000 spectators enjoyed fantastic play by these stars during the course of the championship, and the tournament received a tremendous response throughout Asia and Europe.
The 2007 Asia team will be led by Naomichi Joe Ozaki from Japan, with members Toru Taniguchi and Tetsuji Hiratsuka also from Japan, S. K. Ho and Y. E. Yang from Korea, Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant, and Prom Meesawat from Thailand, and Jeev Milkha Singh from India. Seve Ballesteros once again heads up this year's European team, with members Darren Clarke from North Ireland, Anthony Wall and Lee Westwood from England, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Johan Edfors, and Niclas Fasth from Sweden, and Paul McGinley from Ireland.
JCB and JCB International are targeting the Asia region to expand JCB card issuing and merchant acquiring in cooperation with its business partners, as the region's dramatic economic development in recent years drives growth in the payments market. Sponsorship of this golf championship held in Asia, featuring the best players from Asia and Europe, is a great opportunity to increase JCB brand recognition throughout the region. The 2007 golf championship will be broadcast by satellite to 15 nations in Asia and Europe, including Thailand and Japan.