As the godfather of Swiss golf, André Bossert is well-placed to speak about the importance of the Credit Suisse Challenge and of the sterling support shown by its title sponsors.
Credit Suisse has sponsored the tournament since its induction to the Challenge Tour Schedule back in 2000, since when the likes of former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker of England and European Tour champion Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain have lifted the trophy.
Perhaps more importantly, the event has also aided the development of up-and-coming golfers from the host nation, who have been able to gain invaluable experience from competing against some of the finest young players in world golf.
Bossert, winner of the 1995 Air France Cannes Open on The European Tour and three times a winner on the Challenge Tour, said: “The Credit Suisse Challenge is one of the most important platforms for the promotion of Swiss golf. For our players, it’s extremely important that they regularly have the opportunity to play tournaments at a high level, and the Credit Suisse Challenge comes very close to matching tournaments at the highest level. The only way to improve in the long-term is to compete in the best tournaments.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Daniel Weber, who fulfils the dual roles of manager at Golf Sempachersee and promoter of the Credit Suisse Challenge.
He said: “We want to breathe new life into the golf scene in Switzerland, and I think we can do it – but of course everything takes time. This tournament should help to increase our profile – we want to become much more well-known in the national and international golfing market. Last year’s event couldn’t have gone any better, and we’re hoping for more still for this year’s tournament.”
To that end, Weber and his team have undertaken a raft of marketing and promotional initiatives, including an extensive advertising campaign on Swiss national television.
Having increased the size of its tournament budget to around €600,000, Credit Suisse’s long-standing financial commitment has undoubtedly helped raise the profile of the event even higher.
Credit Suisse became the main sponsor of the Swiss Golf Foundation (SGF) in 1992, since 1999 it has been a partner of the Association Suisse de Golf (ASG) and it became the main sponsor of the Swiss PGA in 2005.
Over time the bank has increased its commitment to developing golf at the grass roots level, to the extent that one third of the money which Credit Suisse makes available to the ASG is invested in targeted youth promotion projects.