As the European Tour and the PGA Tour’s US counterpart form a strategic partnership to enhance economic value and fan engagement, professional golf is set for a transformative 2021.
With the acquisition of a minority stake in the European Tour productions and media units, the partnership was formed with the PGA as the pro-golf Tours join forces to create a new global media rights package for new broadcast markets.
The Tours have confirmed that they would work together on collaborative projects to optimise the value of the pro-golfers, boost scheduling, finance prizes and qualify for their respective Tour events.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will take a seat on the European Tour board, joining the newly established alliance. “We are thrilled to announce this further strengthening of our partnership with the European Tour, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the men’s professional game and for golf fans around the world,” he said.
Mixed reactions from pro-golf analysts have been met with news from the Tours alliance, who note that the Tours joint statement was low on information, thereby raising more questions than answers.
While the Tours stressed their dedication to ‘removing commercial barriers’ as the main goal of the relationship, pro-golf stakeholders would need guidance on key issues related to athlete accreditation, award funding, distribution of media rights and classifications of events.
European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley explained, discussing speculation, that the strategic partnership had no intentions to begin a pro-Golf ‘World Tour’ and that more information on key areas will be announced shortly.
He added: “Today’s announcement is the formalisation of a closer working relationship between the Tours in recent years. It was one which was crystallised earlier this year when both Jay and I were part of the working group containing representatives of the four Majors and the LPGA – a group which helped shape the remainder of the golfing calendar for 2020 during unprecedented times.
“We shared the challenges of working through a year neither of us could have ever imagined and we found definite synergies in many areas of our respective Tours. That gave us the impetus to move forward together and arrive at this momentous announcement we are making today.”