ORLANDO, Fla. – March 23, 2010 – Unveiled today, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, an equity-based, luxury destination club, and Hall of Fame golfer, Annika Sorenstam, have entered a new partnership where Annika will serve as an ambassador of the brand. For the benefit of Club Members, this partnership presents the opportunity for elite experiences that mirror Annika’s passions and growing lifestyle brand.
As part of the exclusive partnership, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club will create an “ANNIKA sense of place” at Club locations with branded products including everything from signature clothing and fragrances, to wines and autographed photography. Culinary events, wine tastings and golf outings with Annika will provide memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Members of all ages. The ANNIKA Academy will also take the team on the road to select Club locations to inspire players of varying skill levels to reach their potential by transferring more energy and power from the gym to the golf course.
“We are thrilled to have Annika Sorenstam represent The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club,” said Peter J. Watzka, executive vice president and chief operating officer for The Ritz-Carlton Development Company, Inc. (an affiliate of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC). “This partnership is an excellent opportunity for The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club to work with one of the world’s top golfers and offer our discerning Members extraordinary experiences they will not find anywhere else but at our Clubs.”
“I am honored to represent The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club brand, which is the most prestigious Destination Club in the world,” said Annika. “There is a lot of symmetry between the lifestyle The Ritz-Carlton affords their Members and the products and services my brand represents. Together we will provide inspirational Member experiences.”
The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club created the “Lion & Crown Golf Series,” a sequence of Member/Guest tournaments at key Club destinations, which Annika will serve as host in 2010. The finals for the “Lion & Crown Golf Series” will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa, Jupiter the last week in September.
Depending on a Ritz-Carlton Destination Club Member’s vacation aspirations, they may select a Home Club Membership which provides a one- to four-bedroom, titled residence and guaranteed usage at their favorite resort every year, or a deeded Portfolio Membership which affords the opportunity to discover a wide variety of locations, accommodations and experiences around the globe through the use of Club points. The new Hotel Exchange Program also enables Members who enroll in a Portfolio Membership to utilize a portion of their Club points at more than 70 Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts.
Club Members benefit from an exceptional level of service as they are paired with their very own member experience manager who serves as their primary travel liaison. The member experience manager coordinates everything from airport pick-up and pre-arrival provisioning of the residence, to unpacking and pressing pre-sent garments and arranging a complete vacation itinerary. Membership pricing ranges from the low $100,000s – low $800,000s per membership. A typical membership is approximately $250,000.
Annika is the greatest female golfer of our generation and often regarded as the best of all-time. During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed, and covered. She amassed 89 worldwide professional victories, including 72 LPGA wins, ten of which are Major Championships.
Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, including the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Financial Group, ANNIKA Course Design, the ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, signature high-end wines with Wente Vineyards, and an online retail shop, shopannika.com. In 2007, Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation as a way to teach children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offer aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association, and in 2009, along with Jack Nicklaus, she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Federation and aided in the successful bid for golf in the 2016 Olympic Games. More information can be found at www.annikasorenstam.com.
About The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club
Combining innovative membership options for luxury travel around the world with the legendary services of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club offers an inspirational vacation lifestyle tailored to each Member’s needs and expectations. This year, on its 10th anniversary, The Club not only underwent a brand evolution, but was also awarded Robb Report’s “Best of the Best” distinction. Additionally, Ritz-Carlton Destination Club Members enjoyed an industry leading 49,000 vacations at Ritz-Carlton Destination Clubs and Ritz-Carlton Hotels worldwide in 2009. For information, please visit www.ritzcarltondestinationclub.com. The Club can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (@RitzCarltonClub).