The Ryder Cup Board has announced the six Partners for the 2001 Ryder Cup Matches between Europe and the United States at The De Vere Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England, on September 28-30.
IBM, Ireland 2005, KPMG, Lucent Technologies, Pfizer and Regus have come together to form a strong partnership which will launch a new era in the history of the biennial competition when the 34th Ryder Cup Matches unfold on The Brabazon course next year.
The commercial strategy for the 2001 Ryder Cup Matches is designed to involve and integrate our Partners into this world class event. The Ryder Cup Board has actively sought to secure partnerships with world class brands and companies to further enhance the image and status of the Ryder Cup.
Richard Hills, the Ryder Cup Director, said: “We see the way forward through a partnership programme which unites multi-national companies with the common objective of enhancing the reputation of the matches and further popularising the game throughout the world.
“The six Partners we have announced today will form the top-tier of this programme. They will, of course, contribute to the financial success of the matches but, more importantly, they share our respect for the traditions of the game. It will be our role to ensure that this support is translated into global appreciation of the sport and the match.
“Specifically we desire to grow the game in Europe. Both The European Tour and the Professional Golfers’ Association, as joint-venture partners in the Ryder Cup acknowledge that we are entrusted to do this at all levels. However, we must also not lose sight of the important role we have in stimulating interest in the sport around the globe, and our business partners share with us a commitment to channel all our energy and resource into fulfilling our aspirations.
“All the Partners, together with other sponsors and suppliers, will play an active role in the staging of the 2001 Ryder Cup. Without their important support in key areas, we would not be able to stage a world class event and we are looking forward to presenting what we hope will be the leading sports event to be staged in Europe in 2001.”
Hills added: “Clearly the revenue stream from the 2001 matches will enable us to maintain our strong support of the Golf Foundation and The Junior Match, both of which reach the roots of the game. Already The Junior Match has helped the progress of Sergio Garcia of Spain (1995) and Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium (1997 & 1999), who recently gained his European Tour card. Vehicles such as the Physio Unit are supported with further sponsorship from Nestlé.
“The Ryder Cup is a 50-50 partnership between The European Tour and the Professional Golfers’ Association and we, at the Tour, will continue to invest in the development of tournaments with increased prize funds, whilst continuing to further support the Seniors Tour, the Challenge Tour and Tour Services.
“The Professional Golfers’ Association is currently involved in a programme of investment, which strongly supports the training of our young professionals in all aspects of golf, from coaching to business management. The PGA has also established the MasterCard Tour to allow those with Tour playing aspirations to start their careers which will ultimately lead to the Tour stars of tomorrow – Alistair Forsyth being a product of playing the MasterCard Tour.
“The PGA also recognises the importance of golf throughout Europe and has been at the forefront of the establishment and development of the PGA of Europe for the last decade.
“Promotion of the game is of vital importance to the PGA and in addition to the initiatives supported by Ryder Cup Limited the PGA has also invested in inner city golf initiatives and Game Improvement Centre roadshows.”
The 34th Ryder Cup will take place on The Brabazon course at The De Vere Belfry. All 33 previous Ryder Cup matches – the first was played at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927 – have contributed richly to the history of golf while achieving the all-important objective of fostering international goodwill through sport.
The Ryder Cup, which is being defended in 2001 by the United States, has developed into an intriguingly close contest. The last nine matches have produced the perfect deadlock with four wins for Europe, four for the United States and a tie. In that time Europe has won 128 points to the 124 of the United States, and each of the last three matches has been won by the minimum margin.
The Ryder Cup has grown to such an extent that it is today one of the most important and most followed sporting events in the world. In 1999 the Ryder Cup commanded a potential audience reach of 800 million through more than 170 countries with 455 hours of programming. In addition there was an unprecedented 1.5 million visitors to rydercup.com with 330 million hits.
At The De Vere Belfry, the United States will defend the Ryder Cup under captain Curtis Strange and confront a European Team led by Sam Torrance, who in 1985 holed the putt on the 18th green of The Brabazon course which secured a famous victory.
Torrance said: “I have many happy memories of The Belfry. It’s a fabulous course – much tougher now than when the Ryder Cup was played there in 1993 – and a great venue. I would today personally like to welcome and congratulate IBM, Ireland 2005, KPMG, Lucent Technologies, Pfizer Inc and Regus on becoming Partners for the 2001 Ryder Cup and we can now look forward to enjoying the qualifying process for both teams in addition to the matches next September.” The six Partners in Ryder Cup 2001 are:
IBM, as the Worldwide Information Technology Partner, is the exclusive provider of computer hardware, software and services for the 2001 Ryder Cup. IBM is helping 2001 Ryder Cup organisers run and manage the event with a technology solution that will deliver comprehensive scoring and statistical services on-course via the IBM Scoring System and to the world through the Official 2001 Ryder Cup Matches Web site - www.rydercup.com.
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in providing business solutions. IBM is dedicated to helping customers, including many of the world's premier professional sports organisations, leverage the power of the Internet for e-business.
IRELAND 2005: Ireland Inc. represents a partnership between the Irish Tourist Board (Bord Fáilte) and three private sector companies - AIB Bank, Aer Lingus and Waterford Crystal. Ireland will play host to the Ryder Cup Matches in 2005 at The K-Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare. Ireland is the first ‘Destination’ sponsor of the Ryder Cup and Ireland Inc. aims to use the event to promote Ireland as a first class holiday, golfing, and business destination. Ireland Inc. was a sponsor of the 1999 European Ryder Cup Team and is an Official Partner of the 2001 Ryder Cup Matches.
KPMG International is the global network of professional advisory firms whose aim is to turn knowledge into value for the benefit of its clients, its people and its communities. With more than 103,000 people collaborating worldwide, the member firms provide assurance, consulting, tax, legal, and financial advisory services from more than 820 cities in 159 countries. KPMG’s website is http://www.kpmg.com. KPMG will act as the Official Professional Services supplier to the 2001 Ryder Cup.
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES is a leading global supplier of communications networking equipment to service providers and is focused on optical, data and wireless technologies. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent is developing the next generation of software and applications that will change the way people communicate. Lucent Technologies is committed to being a leader in building the broadband and mobile Internet. Lucent Technologies will act as the Official Networking supplier to the 2001 Ryder Cup.
PFIZER discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world’s best known over-the-counter brands. This year, Pfizer expects global revenues of about $30 billion and has an estimated research and development investment of $4.5 billion in 2000. As part of the sponsorship, Pfizer will seek to raise awareness of men’s health issues and plans to provide health education information from centres at selected tournaments on the 2001 European Tour International Schedule.
REGUS is a global organisation and leading worldwide operator of business centres which brings together people, property and technology to provide a platform for doing business on flexible terms, whenever and wherever required.
Regus offer a global network of fully equipped and serviced offices which can be hired for an hour, a day, a month, a year or however long required as easily as it is to book into a hotel or rent a car. In addition Regus centres offer a range of meeting rooms, conference and training facilities and public access videoconferencing studios. Currently Regus has 51,000 workstations in 302 business centres. Regus will act as the Official Business Services supplier to the 2001 Ryder Cup including the provision of a fully serviced Business Centre on-site.