On the heels of a dealer convention in late 2012 where Pirelli Tire North America Chairman and CEO Paolo Ferrari stressed the importance of “Think Big, No Compromises,” the Italian tire manufacturer kicked off 2013 by expanding its sports presence into the world of golf through a sponsorship with renowned Italian golfer Francesco Molinari. Molinari joins famed soccer club F.C. Internazionale Milano as one of Pirelli’s select athletic sponsorships.

In line with Pirelli’s strategy for continued investment in the North American market through strategic and innovative methods, Molinari’s sponsorship comes at a time when the three-time European Tour winner looks to defend the European title for the Ryder Cup. “I am very honored to be able to announce Pirelli as a sponsor for 2013,” commented Molinari. “I have followed their success in all motorsports, especially in Formula 1, and I hope to be a good ambassador for them as they enter into the world of golf. I look forward to a future of working with Pirelli.”

Currently 35th in world standings, Molinari ranks as Italy’s leading golfer since turning professional in 2005. In 2009, he made history alongside his brother Edoardo Molinari as the first Italians to win the World Cup. He has won three times on the European Tour (HSBC Champions, Telecom Italian Open and Reale Seguros Open de España) and has played twice on winning European Ryder Cup teams (2010, 2012).