European Tour professional Paul McGinley, Nigel Hopkins, Executive Vice President, Service Departments of Emirates Group and George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, are flanked by Emirates Cabin Crew (Getty Images)
Emirates and The European Tour today put pen to paper on an agreement for Emirates to not only extend its investment across an additional ten tournaments from 2014 until the end of the 2017 season, but also assume the status as Official Airline of The European Tour.
The announcement was made today by Nigel Hopkins, Executive Vice President Service Departments, Emirates Group and George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive of The European Tour, during a press conference in London.
“Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and as a global sponsorship platform it has been immensely successful for us. Emirates’ increased investment in The European Tour is a natural move which will expand our global reach to golf enthusiasts across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia,” said Nigel Hopkins.
“Engaging with our customers and fans through sports has been part of Emirates’ brand strategy since our early days. It makes sense for us - as an airline that connects the world - to align our brand with prestigious golf tournaments where the world’s most talented players come together. We will continue to work with our partners to celebrate the value of sport and deliver meaningful experiences for golf fans,” he added.
George O’Grady said: “Last month we were delighted to announce the extension of The Race to Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates through to the end of the 2017 and the commitment of Emirates was very much part of the reason we were able to make that announcement.
“This increased investment will give us the confidence to support our tournaments globally, enhancing not only our widespread geographical footprint but also the development of our business in new markets across the world – a strategy that we at The European Tour share with Emirates. We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Dubai for the past twenty five years and today’s announcement is the perfect way for us to launch the beginning of the next phase of our partnership.”
As part of the agreement, Emirates will become a Worldwide Partner and Official Airline of The European Tour. Along with its existing nine European Tour events culminating in the prestigious DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, Emirates will add an additional ten tournaments to its international schedule including the BMW PGA Championship, the Nordea Masters, the D+D Real Czech Masters, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Portugal Masters, the Italian Open, the Joburg Open, the South Africa Open Championship and the Nelson Mandela Championship.
The Race to Dubai on The European Tour International Schedule, spans 48 tournaments across 25 countries and all five continents of the globe, laying the groundwork to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, which will bring together the top 60 golfers for the next four seasons, cementing the airline’s continued commitment to the game of golf, its fans around the globe, and bringing prestigious, high-calibre events to its home base of Dubai.
Emirates will benefit from highly visible branding across European Tour tournaments and the Tour’s media and digital platforms. In addition to enhanced hospitality rights, Emirates will also have its own exhibition booths within the tented village areas of the tournaments.
The European Tour’s ‘Virtual Eye’, an animated graphics system that provides real-time positioning and information about player performance and statistics including fairway flyovers, three-dimensional golf course models and a global positioning system tracking of golf balls, will provide Emirates additional brand visibility and year round exposure at 20 tournaments delivered through live television broadcasts, The European Tour’s website and mobile platforms.