Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business and producer of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, was today named as an Official Partner of The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
The agreement will see Diageo use its portfolio of premium beverage alcohol brands to promote The 2014 Ryder Cup around the globe in partnership with Ryder Cup Europe. Central to the partnership will be Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch whisky and the first Scottish brand to enjoy Official Partner status for the tournament.
Diageo owns The Gleneagles Hotel, the host venue for the 40th staging of the biennial contest, which will take place from Friday September 26 to Sunday September 28, 2014. The Official Partner agreement builds on Diageo’s long-standing association with The Ryder Cup which stretches back to the 1980s when Johnnie Walker was a presenting sponsor of The Ryder Cup in Europe in 1989, 1993 and 1997.
Diageo will work closely with Ryder Cup Europe in the build-up to The 2014 Ryder Cup to maximise the opportunity which the Official Partnership creates to promote the tournament and Scotland in more than 180 countries around the world where the company markets its products. They will also work together to ensure those coming to Scotland for The 2014 Ryder Cup enjoy the best possible visitor experience at The Gleneagles Hotel.
Announcing the sponsorship at Gleneagles on behalf of Diageo, Peter Lederer, Chairman of Gleneagles Hotel, said: “We are already tremendously excited to be hosting The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014 and we are determined to make this event a major success for the whole of Scotland. Adding Johnnie Walker as a global brand which is exported to over 180 markets around the world, can only help us achieve that goal.
“Diageo, Johnnie Walker and Gleneagles Hotel have a long and proud history of supporting golf in Scotland and there couldn’t be a stronger team than the world’s number one Scotch whisky, the world’s number one team golf event, The Ryder Cup, and Scotland’s finest hotel golf resort, Gleneagles.”
As part of its role as Official Partner, Diageo has also committed to working with Clubgolf – the Scottish junior golf development agency – at corporate level to help promote participation in golf across Scotland, with numerous initiatives planned for the build up to 2014.
“Gleneagles and Diageo have a strong record in supporting youth golf development in Scotland and we are determined to use this sponsorship to contribute to the long-term positive legacy The Ryder Cup generates for Scotland and Scottish golf,” added Lederer.
Scottish First Minister, The Rt Hon Alex Salmond, who was at Gleneagles for the launch of the Official Partnership, said: "The Ryder Cup is set to bring immense benefits to Scotland, both in terms of the economic boost from the many thousands of visitors and the lasting sporting legacy the golf's premier team competition will leave on the country's golfers - both young and old.
"Plans for the tournament are progressing well, but the support from sponsors will ensure that the event is able to maximise the benefits to Scotland, be that through increasing visitor numbers or ensuring the tournament is the most spectacular Ryder Cup ever.
"That is why I am delighted to welcome Diageo on board as a major backer for The 2014 Ryder Cup. Their welcome support underlines the huge popularity of The Ryder Cup and shows the willingness of the Scottish business community to support major events right here on their doorstep.
"It is also exciting to see Diageo's pledge to work with the Scottish Government's innovative Clubgolf initiative, with a commitment to help promote participation in youth golf in the run up to the 2014 event.
"Clubgolf gives thousands of children in Scotland the chance to play golf, putting a club in the hands of every nine-year-old in the country, and the Scottish Government recently announced a £2million investment in the programme to build on the legacy opportunity The Ryder Cup offers."
Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, added: “We are delighted that Diageo and Johnnie Walker are making a welcome return to The Ryder Cup at the highest level, playing an active role in helping Ryder Cup Europe to put on a world class event in 2014 at Gleneagles, the course owned by Diageo.
“It is important to have a strong Scottish brand on board for The Ryder Cup in 2014 and Diageo recognises the importance the event will have on Scotland and Scottish golf and will work with us to provide a lasting legacy.
“As Diageo are owners of host venue Gleneagles, we look forward to working with them to help them maximise the opportunities of bringing The Ryder Cup to Gleneagles.”