Tiger Woods’ three-week stay in Europe, with its centrepiece the Ryder Cup at the K Club near Dublin, will boost the golf economy by an estimated €250m, according to a new report.
The world number one competes this week in the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth, followed by the Ryder Cup and then his defence of the American Express world championship at The Grove near Watford.
Research carried out for HSBC by Professor Tom Cannon, Dean of Business at the University of Buckingham, suggests Woods’ presence results in tens of thousands extra spectators, boosts radio and television coverage by at least 25%, generates millions through tourism, hospitality and sponsorship and also drives people to try golf for themselves.
Cannon, an expert in sports business and finance, commented: “The size and reach of the Tiger economy is remarkable.
“We estimate the total value on the core golf economy to be as high as £170m (€250m).
“Drawing these figures together gives an astonishing picture not only of the impact of a single, outstanding sportsman, but of the growing power and influence of sport and sporting celebrity.”
Advance ticket sales for the Match Play starting on Thursday are up 60% and Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Head of Sports Sponsorship and Marketing, said: “The championship is set to break its 42-year attendance record.
“Tiger Woods’ participation is obviously great news for our event, but our approach to golf is as much about developing the grassroots of the sport as it is about supporting the elite game.
“This report indicates that Tiger’s appeal goes far beyond what happens on the course and has positive economic and social impacts in the countries where he plays.”
Sponsorship and hospitality could generate an additional €5m, including €750,000 in advertising and €750,000 in travel and accommodation generated through additional spectators.
Woods and Jim Furyk are the two members of the American Ryder Cup side in the 16-man field at Wentworth, while Luke Donald, Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Paul Casey and Robert Karlsson play before moving on to Ireland.