April 19, 2011 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - As the Official Hotel and Resort Partner of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, announced today that its Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand will lead a "Room Nights for the Brave" charity campaign to support Birdies for the Brave, a TOUR-supported military outreach initiative developed to assist the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Beginning with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on May 19th through the AT&T National ending July 3rd, for every eagle made by a PGA TOUR player, Crowne Plaza will donate a room night to Birdies for the Brave creating a bank of hotel stays. Rooms will be used to support injured veterans and military personnel participating in Birdies for the Brave activities at TPC Clubs, PGA TOUR and Champions Tour events as well as other unique golf related experiences.
In addition to Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, IHG owns a portfolio of well-recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. The "Room Nights for the Brave" hotel stays will also be valid at any other IHG family of brand hotel.
"The brave men and women in our military are separated from their families for extremely long periods of time. We're happy to be working with the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave to reunite our servicemen and women with their loved ones and to provide a place where they can spend quality time together," said Gina LaBarre, Vice President, Brand Management, the Americas, IHG. "As title sponsor of the prestigious Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial since 2007, the Colonial has a 65-year history of charitable giving and we're proud to continue the tradition."
"Being able to spend time with family members is one of the things our troops cherish most," said former Navy SEAL Stephen Kupcha, Manager of Birdies for the Brave and all Military Outreach for the PGA TOUR. "By creating this program, IHG and Crowne Plaza are providing a great service to our military families, and creating some good-natured competition out on the course to see who can hit the most eagles and earn the most rooms for these deserving men and women."
While the "Room Nights for the Brave" campaign will not officially kick-off until the first round of play at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on May 16th, Crowne Plaza hosted a bonus round at the Wide Open Media Golf Day on April 18th and awarded five room nights to the initiative.
Additionally, the Saturday of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is national Armed Forces Day, established in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the military branches, as well as the 150th Anniversary of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The tournament will host and honor six Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and encourage fans to wear yellow ribbons to show support. Also, for each birdie made on the 17th hole during play on Saturday, Colonial and Crowne Plaza will donate $1,000 to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. A check-presentation ceremony will be held near the 18th green immediately following the conclusion of play on Saturday.
IHG is the Official Hotel and Resort Partner of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. The PGA TOUR and IHG began the five-year integrated marketing and business partnership in 2011. In addition to the official marketing relationship, IHG's Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand is the title sponsor of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial through 2015. Crowne Plaza has served as title sponsor of the historic event since 2007. Crowne Plaza is known to business travelers as "The Place to Meet" and golf courses have a storied history as informal meeting places, which Crowne Plaza will continue to leverage through its relationship with the PGA TOUR and Colonial Country Club across all IHG brands.
The 2011 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, captured in 2010 by Zach Johnson, will be held May 19-22 at Colonial Country Club. Dating back to 1946, the Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas is the longest-running PGA TOUR tournament held at the same venue.
As part of the IHG global portfolio, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is a dynamic hotel brand located in nearly 60 countries around the world in major urban centers, gateway cities and resort destinations. Crowne Plaza was recently recognized by Lodging Hospitality magazine as one of the industry's top-growing brands and travel buyers rated Crowne Plaza as the top upscale/select-service brand in Business Travel News' 2011 U.S. Hotel Chain survey. Truly international, Crowne Plaza offers premium accommodation, designed for the discerning business and leisure traveler who appreciates simplified elegance combined with the practicality of the latest features, as well as value for money. At Crowne Plaza, guests can enjoy a 24-hour business service, wireless high speed internet access in the lobby plus fitness and leisure facilities. For reservations at Crowne Plaza properties, visit http://www.crowneplaza.com/ or call 1-800-2CROWNE.
A PGA TOUR Charities, Inc. program, Birdies for the Brave is a military outreach initiative for supported the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, proudly supported by the PGA TOUR. Since 2005, the TOUR has joined with PGA TOUR players and corporate partners to raise millions of dollars for military homefront groups that directly serve military men and women lost or seriously injured in performance of their duty, through fundraising events at TPC clubs nationwide.
The PGA TOUR is the world's premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.
The PGA TOUR's mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
In 2011, the three Tours collectively have tournaments in 29 states and in 12 countries and territories outside of the United States. PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to nearly 600 million households in 225 countries and territories in 30 languages.
Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2010, tournaments on the three Tours generated $120 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR's all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.6 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 640,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 56 million members worldwide.
IHG has almost 1,300 hotels in its development pipeline, which is expected to create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.