Building a global

The European Tour

The European Tour run 41 tournaments across 29 countries. The sporting, event and production requirements for each event are huge. Each tournament also requires the support of sponsors, partners and the corporate community in the region. As the Tour rolls around the world, it is imperative that partners and sponsors are managed to the highest standards, irrespective of region, timezone or language.

The Challenge

The commercial team at the European Tour, based in Wentworth outside of London, are responsible for promoting, managing and coordinating the commercial relationships across all markets. The challenge undertaken by Atomic Sport and the European Tour was to develop a strategy to engage, onboard and manage partners in multiple markets.

The Approach

We worked with the team at the European Tour to develop an engagement strategy with the sponsorship market in various regions. We committed to four key pillars of activity as part of the wider approach.

  • Premium Experiential
  • Digital Inbound
  • Community Management
  • Customer Journey

All of which were designed to eliminate the dangerous and time consuming practice of selling to unqualified buyers. A considered and planned customer journey helped the European Tour to understand the motivations and needs of potential partners prior to discussing opportunities and rights.

The Solution

At the heart of the wider strategy is the ‘Inside the Ropes’ initiative, a branded private network created to engage key marketing and sponsorship decision-makers. The initiative was branded to appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike, with a view to building long-term relationships and a long term sponsorship sales pipeline.

Those invited to take part in the initiative receive regular exclusive content from behind the scenes of the European Tour and are invited to a series of live events where they can connect and network with the game of professional golf and peers from the corporate world.

Inside the Ropes is currently being rolled out in both Spain and Ireland, with plans to launch in other markets prior to the end of 2018.

“Golf is a fantastic medium for business – so building an audience who appreciate this seemed obvious. ’Inside the Ropes’ allows us to initiate and develop one-to-one conversations over time with the right people in a completely different way.”

Max Hamilton,
Head of Commercial Partnerships,
PGA European Tour

The Results

Launched in January 2018 with an evening ‘Inside the Ropes; with Paul McGinley and AP McCoy, the initiative has generated a large participating audience of senior executives, and has directly led to a number of partnership discussions with major sponsoring brands.

Alongside the regular content created to give participants a glimpse behind the scenes of professional golf, further events will take place
before and after both the Andalusia Masters in Spain and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The strategy has given the Partnerships team at the European Tour a planned, long-term process for engaging, exciting and qualifying potential commercial partners.

If you are a major rights holder and want to reinvigorate your approach to sponsorship, contact us today.

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