Could the Ryder Cup’s huge commercial family get even bigger?
However, it’s likely the situation could get bigger and more competitive now that the two administrators of the event are working together.
Previously, getting involved in a global deal meant working separately with both sets of rights holders – Ryder Cup Europe (when the tournament is in Europe) and the PGA of America (when held in the US) – which made things extra difficult.
However, as The Telegraph exclusively revealed, the two bodies are now working together commercially, which means it should be easier for companies to get involved and improve the tournament’s ability to attract sponsors.
Indeed, earlier this month, package delivery giant UPS become the second brand to grab a global association with The Ryder Cup, becoming a “Worldwide Supplier” for the next two events. In practical terms this means they will host an onsite shipping center for merchandise purchased at both events and will ship the tickets.
The first brand – the only one that managed to overcome the previous state of affairs – was Aberdeen Standard Investments who (as Standard Life Investments) became a Worldwide Partner back in 2014.
So, who else might be looking to get involved – particularly when it’s not cheap? The Telegraph stated the average sponsor pays around £2m when its in Europe or £4m when in the US.
Other than deepish pockets, it’s most likely to be brands with some form of global presence. Eurostar was the only one of the 35 who doesn’t have an on the ground presence or product availability worldwide.
As our infographic shows, the range of sectors (10) associated with the event is significant. It’s dominated by sportswear brands who account for nearly a third of the commercial family, while fashion/accessories and infrastructure/logistics are very well represented and there’s a good smattering of IT services and golf equipment brands.
what’s most interesting, and where the less-crowded opportunities
lay in terms of industry share of voice, is who isn’t there.
However, what’s most interesting, and where the less-crowded opportunities lay in terms of industry share of voice, is who isn’t there.
For instance, there’s no retail, entertainment, soft drink, beer, spirits, consumer electronics, consumer tech, healthcare, banking or consultancy brands.
Think of the likes of brand powerhouses such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Panasonic, Samsung, Budweiser, McDonald’s – mainstays of major global sports events like the World Cup and Olympics – or HSBC, Barclays, KMPG, Deloitte, PwC and Accenture who’ve gone big on golf in different ways.
Will any of these – or their competitors – move into the Ryder Cup now that worldwide deals are easier and the tournament is certainly getting bigger?
Whilst not on the scale of the giants like the World Cup and Olympics, the chairman of the 2016 event said at the time it was viewed in over 160 countries by around 230 million households.
Certainly, $4.6m is a snip compared to the likes of the World Cup (Chinese smartphone brand Vivo reportedly paid around $500 million for a six-year deal with FIFA that included two World Cups) and the Olympics – Reuters reported top global sponsors pay about $100 million to get a summer and winter games.
As the Telegraph reported, The Ryder Cup expect “several more partner and supplier announcements in the coming months” so it looks like there’s no time to lose if brands want to be part of the commercial family ahead of the next event in the US at the end of September 2020.
Prior to co-founding caytoo, Alex was an Analyst and VP of Global Communications at Nielsen and founded the successful PR/communications consultancy, Meteor.