Golf News for Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | Sponsorship

Coca-Cola China extends sponsorship of Gary Player Invitational

The Coca-Cola Company, a global leader in the beverage industry, has agreed to continue their giving ways by announcing their renewed sponsorship of the Gary Player Invitational event for a further three years.

The Chinese leg of the Gary Player Invitational (GPI) global charity series, staged by Black Knight International to benefit The Player Foundation, will be held at the Shanghai Links on November 3 - 4. Grand Slam champion Gary Player will once again host the event that is expected to field yet another star-studded cast of professional golfers, celebrities and business people to compete for the tournament title, but more importantly to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.

"The decision to continue to sponsor this 'Union of Golf and Giving' forms part of our long-term sustainability commitment in China. It is at the core of our business to develop a healthy and sustainable environment of our local communities and by sponsoring the Gary Player Invitational, we continue to give back and play a small role for those underprivileged kids affected by AIDS," said David G. Brooks, Chairman, Coca-Cola Greater China & Korea.

The Gary Player Invitational presented by The Coca-Cola Company is China's most prestigious charity golf event, featuring a diverse field of participating sponsors, top business leaders, and superstars from the world of sport and entertainment who come together each year in support of the Yunnan Orphans program with the Chinese Foundation for the Prevention of STD and AIDS.

"This special event has shown growth year after year, and we are thrilled that The Coca-Cola Company and other sponsors continue to show their commitment towards to The Player Foundation as we move into our eighth series event in China," said Marc Player, Black Knight International CEO. "We are proud of what this event has achieved, and look ahead to another year of record fundraising to better the lives of those in need."

For more information, please contact Grace Vine, Media Coordinator, Gary Player Group, at +1 864-477-2720, or

Gary Player Invitational 2014 Series
United States - Georgia
Dates: 13-14 April 2014
Champions Retreat, Augusta

Europe - United Kingdom
Dates: 20-21 July 2014
Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey

China - Shanghai
Dates: 3-4 November 2014
Shanghai Links

South Africa - Sun City
Dates: 20-23 November 2014
The Lost City Golf Course, The Palace Hotel, Sun City

Established in 1983 by Marc Player, Black Knight International is a global holding company for The Player Group and the constantly expanding family of Gary Player® brands. With a powerful presence in North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Black Knight is a multicultural and multilingual company offering branded services for the leisure and real estate industries. This rapidly growing firm is diverse and infused with the same tenaciousness and drive as Gary Player, world renowned iconic golfer. The holding company divisions include: Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, Black Knight Enterprises, Black Knight Solutions, Black Knight Capital, Gary Player Academies, and The Player Foundation.

The Player Foundation was established in 1983 by Marc Player. What began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa has now blossomed into an organization that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities.

The Foundation is funded primarily by four Gary Player Invitational events presented through Black Knight International. Pairing celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and international sports figures, the annual tournaments are staged in the United States, China, Europe and South Africa. The proceeds of these tournaments and other special events provide funding for an ever- expanding number of institutions around the world, including the Blair Atholl Schools in South Africa, the Pleasant City Elementary School in Palm Beach, the Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, and AIDS infected children in Baoshan, a drug-infested city located on the China-Burma border. Since its establishment, The Player Foundation has donated over $50 million dollars to the support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

Gary Player, acknowledged as a world-class humanitarian, believes that the strength of our future depends upon the abilities of our children. "I have found that the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others does not thrust itself upon us," Player says, "But we do not need to look hard for it either. When you spot the chance to give back to the world, act on it. You will have made life better, for others, and for yourself."

The Gary Player Foundation is a non-profit 501 C (3) organization managed by Black Knight International in Palm Beach, Florida.