European Tour unveils influential Ryder Cup committee
The European Tour, the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe LLP, today unveils its new ‘Ryder Cup Committee’ whose aim is to enhance the commercial and brand value of one of the world’s leading sporting events. The Committee will include influential figures from the worlds of both business and sport.
Chaired by Sir Damon Buffini, a non-executive director on the European Tour Board, the Ryder Cup Committee comprises:
▪ Paul McGinley: European Tour Board Member and Europe’s victorious 2014 Ryder Cup Captain
▪ Ian Ritchie: Chairman of Premiership Rugby, former CEO of the Rugby Football Union and the All England Lawn Tennis Club
▪ Richard Scudamore: Former Premier League Executive Chairman and Chief Executive
▪ Keith Pelley: European Tour Chief Executive
▪ Guy Kinnings: European Tour Deputy CEO, Ryder Cup Director and Chief Commercial Officer
Played biennially between the best golfers from Europe and the United States, The Ryder Cup has demonstrated substantial growth over the past two decades and since its inception in 1927.
Indeed, a report compiled by researchers from Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre and published earlier this month, found The Ryder Cup boosted economic activity in France by some €235.7 million.
Utilising their experience from across the sporting and business sectors, the Ryder Cup Committee will seek to build on these strong foundations by exploring opportunities to grow revenues and profits from The 2022 Ryder Cup in Italy and beyond.
This includes closer collaboration with the PGA of America – the managing partner of The Ryder Cup in the United States – through the expansion of the worldwide partner and supplier programme. The Committee will also oversee investment in Ryder Cup infrastructure to enhance delivery in key areas including sales, hospitality, ticketing and merchandise.
European Tour Chairman David Williams said: “The success of The 2018 Ryder Cup in France demonstrated the global appeal of the modern-day Ryder Cup, but there remains significant growth potential. This Committee will look at ways of optimising that while also protecting the contest’s rich heritage.
“In many ways, the Ryder Cup Committee mirrors precisely what we have on the Board of the European Tour in terms of a balance between sports professionals and business leaders. It is also illustrative of the best practices of corporate governance that I am proud we have initiated in recent years.
“I am delighted to welcome Ian and Richard to the Committee. They will bring valuable insight from their time in the business of other sports, to add to the considerable golfing expertise brought by Paul, Keith and Guy.
“And in Sir Damon, who has worked alongside me on the European Tour Board since 2015, the Committee has a Chairman who is one of the most experienced businessmen in the country.”
Alan White, Chairman of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, the Founding Partner of The Ryder Cup who work alongside the PGAs of Europe and the European Tour in Ryder Cup Europe LLP, said: “As custodians of The Ryder Cup since its inception in 1927, we are delighted to see its continued growth, development and global recognition.
“We have every confidence that this new Ryder Cup Committee will further enhance all elements of the commercial and brand value of The Ryder Cup, while remaining true to the heritage, history and values of this incredible sporting event.”
A record 270,000 fans flocked to Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris last September to witness Europe, under the astute captaincy of Dane Thomas Bjørn, triumph 17 ½ - 10 ½ over Jim Furyk’s much vaunted United States team.
The victory was Europe’s seventh in the last nine contests and the 11th in total since the match was expanded, in 1979, to include players from Continental Europe and not merely Great Britain and Ireland.
Away from Le Golf National, the interest was just as intense with the three day match broadcast over 40 global TV networks to a total household reach of some 620 million. There were also more than 22 billion social media impressions across the week – the highest in the event’s history.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE RYDER CUP COMMITTEE
Sir Damon Buffini (Committee Chair)
Sir Damon Buffini was educated at Cambridge and Harvard and made his name as founder and managing partner of Permira, which grew out of a number of separate European businesses under the Schroder Ventures’ brand. Combining operations in France, Germany and Italy with Schroder Ventures Europe, he led a successful buyout from Schroders in 1996 and expanded the business to 12 offices in the following decade. Under his leadership, Permira was voted Private Equity Firm of the Decade in 2006, when funds raised topped €10.8bn. He joined the European Tour Board on January 1, 2015 in the role of Senior Independent Director, bringing his extensive City experience to
help shape the Tour’s strategy. He is Chair of the National Theatre, and the Royal Anniversary Trust and is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Schroders PLC.
A four-time European Tour champion, Paul McGinley was part of three consecutive victorious European Ryder Cup teams as a player, securing the winning point on his debut at The Belfry in 2002. He served as a vice captain in 2010 and 2012 before masterminding Europe’s 16 ½ - 11 ½ Ryder Cup victory the United States at Gleneagles in 2014. He was a highly respected member of the European Tour’s Tournament Committee for 13 years from 2003 onwards and in October 2016 he joined the Tour’s Board as a Non-Executive Director. He possesses strong business acumen having obtained a Degree in International Business prior becoming a professional golfer, and is an Executive Fellow of the London Business School Leadership Institute, having been afforded the accolade in February 2016.
Ian Ritchie was named Chairman of Premiership Rugby in March 2018. Prior to that, he spent five years as Chief Executive of England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) overseeing the country’s hosting of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, while he also played a key role in the appointment of Eddie Jones as head coach of England’s national team. He is also a former chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and has also acted as a non-executive director at the English Football League and London’s Wembley Stadium.
Richard Scudamore is the former Executive Chairman of the Premier League, a position he held from 2014-2018 having previously been the Premier League Chief Executive from November 1999. He presided over a period of unprecedent growth for the English football’s top-flight, making it the most watched and most valuable league in global sport. Under his tenure, UK rights alone to broadcast matches rose from £670m to £5.1bn per three year cycle. Prior to joining the Premier League, he worked for Thomson media group and Yellow Pages.
Keith Pelley became Chief Executive of the European Tour in August 2015 and has driven significant increases in prize money and playing opportunities over the past four years with a strong focus on innovation and inclusivity. In 2017, he launched the Rolex Series, bringing together the eight premium events on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai each with a minimum prize fund of $7million. Prior to joining the European Tour, he was President of Rogers Media from 2010-2016, was Executive Vice-President of Strategic Planning at CTVglobemedia and President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. He was also President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club from 2003 to 2007.
Guy Kinnings joined the European Tour as Deputy CEO and Ryder Cup Director in September 2018, just before The Ryder Cup in France. Prior to that, he was IMG’s Senior Vice President and Chairman of Golf, having been a part of IMG since 1989. He moved from IMG’s legal team in London to its golf division in 1991, initially focusing on client management and recruitment globally. Latterly, as IMG’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Golf, he led the company’s global golf business comprising clients, events and all other aspects of the business in the sport. He managed all relationships with governing bodies and also created and developed extensive sponsorship programmes with worldwide brands such as Rolex, HSBC, ASI, Canon, LVMH, Volvo and many others.