The LPGA and Hana Kuma have joined forces to launch an innovative Athlete Brand Building Programme which aims to enhance fan interest and engagement of the players and the tour

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Hana Kuma, an Emmy Award-nominated, story-driven and multicultural creative house co-founded by tennis star Naomi Osaka, to help revolutionise athlete branding and fan engagement within the world of women's golf.

Through the programme, LPGA athletes will partner with Hana Kuma to develop unique personal brand campaigns highlighting their individual interests and backgrounds, enhancing the visibility of the Tour’s athletes and the overall brand of the Association.

"We're thrilled about this exciting partnership with Hana Kuma," said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. "It represents our commitment to showcasing the incredible talent of our athletes and strengthening the LPGA’s overall brand in a dynamic and competitive landscape.

"It's crucial that fans get to know our athletes better for both their personal stories and their athletic achievements. Fans follow people and build strong affinity with those whom they know and connect with. Our athletes are inspiring, particularly for young girls, and we can’t wait to help give them the biggest platform possible.”

Spotlight unique stories and personalities

The collaboration with Hana Kuma aims to spotlight the unique stories and personalities of LPGA players, both on and off the golf course, to deepen fan engagement and broaden the LPGA’s audience. Through this pilot programme, the LPGA will equip athletes with resources and support to enhance their personal branding efforts, including content creation, public relations, social-media management and personal brand strategy.

“Throughout my career, I've received so much love and support from my fellow female athletes,” said Osaka. “With Hana Kuma, I want to pay it forward by helping empower and champion the LPGA players, providing the tools and resources necessary for them to invest in themselves and build a future beyond their sport. Together, we can continue to uplift and inspire the next generation of female athletes.”

Pilot programme with eight LPGA players

Eight athletes were carefully selected to participate in the programme, chosen through an application process based on a variety of criteria. These athletes will engage in the full pilot programme, receiving tailored assistance to elevate their personal brands. The athletes selected for this programme are not the only ones who will benefit. Hana Kuma will also provide opportunities for all LPGA athletes to learn from their expertise through a brand-building workshop, ensuring that the impact of this partnership extends throughout the entire LPGA membership.

“We’re excited to embark on this journey with the LPGA,” said Stuart Duguid, co-founder of Hana Kuma. “Naomi and I are deeply passionate about advancing women’s sports and athletes. Witnessing the success of building Naomi’s brand and her impactful influence on culture as a Japanese Haitian American woman has been truly rewarding. Our commitment extends to amplifying the diverse narratives of LPGA athletes, reshaping their interactions with fans and sponsors, and pushing the boundaries to elevate women’s sports to new heights.”

The programme has already garnered significant interest from LPGA athletes. More details will be shared in the future about the individual athletes selected for the programme, the programme’s success, and its impact on athlete branding and fan engagement.