Global Edition

54 Group announces merger with Golf Development Solutions in Vietnam

8.52am 28th June 2024 - Corporate

Global sports and entertainment agency 54 continues to strengthen its position in Southeast Asia by announcing the establishment of 54 Vietnam, its ninth location around the world.

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, 54 Vietnam marks a significant strategic step following completion of a merger with Golf Development Solutions. GDS is a leading golf development consulting firm in Vietnam, boasting an experienced team, led by Ben Styles, a highly reputable golf development expert, and co-founder Ms Dandelly Nguyen.

Founded in 2021, GDS is recognised for its dynamism and active collaboration with government agencies, project investors, developers, and stakeholders in the golf industry through comprehensive services, including design, construction, operations, and promotions.

In the newly formed 54 Vietnam, Styles will hold the position of Senior Director, and Nguyen will take on the role of General Director.

The presence of 54 representatives in Vietnam signals the group’s long-term ambitions of promoting the development of the national sports sector. 54 Vietnam will play a crucial role in supporting the group’s activities in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on strategic cooperation with rights holders, governing bodies, renowned brands, and investors.

Jed Moore, CEO of 54 Group, said: “This expansion marks an important milestone, reaffirming 54’s commitment to providing investors in Vietnam with optimal solutions in the field of golf and across sport. Thanks to the combination of expertise and international connectivity, along with local practical experience, 54 will offer the ability to meet all investment needs of entities active in sport.” 

He added “The merger with Golf Development Solutions Vietnam is evidence of our belief in the development potential within Vietnamese sport. The combination of Ben’s expertise, as someone who has successfully developed and operated golf courses ranked in Golf Digest’s top 100 globally, with Dandelly’s strategic thinking and market development skills, along with our team’s global experience across an ever-expanding capability set, will allow us to provide effective solutions in a rapidly developing national sports sector.”

The establishment of 54 Vietnam follows several years of contribution to the development of the sports and tourism in the country through international golf events. 54 left a significant mark with the Ho Tram Open, part of Asia’s premier professional golf tour – Asian Tour, held at The Bluffs in Xuyen Moc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, in 2015. That year, the event was honoured as the Asian Tour Event of the Year.

More broadly, 54 continues to work with rights holders across sports, providing transformative thinking to future proof and enhance business modelling and operations. Most recently 54 has played a key advisory role from inception through to ongoing operations for LIV Golf. Moore serves as a LIV Golf board member and 54 also provides event management and marketing services to LIV Golf events in international markets.

Ben Styles, Director and Member of the Board of Directors of 54 Vietnam, said: “The achievements of 54 over the past nine years have been incredible. This was clearly demonstrated when we were trusted to organize the Ho Tram Open in 2015, and every success since then reflects the innovative thinking of the 54 team.

“This is exactly what Vietnam needs – creative thinking combined with deep expertise in both local and international markets to realise goals. Vietnam is showing positive signs in the field of sports and tourism. However, more efforts are needed to strengthen key factors, support regulatory agencies, and further promote economic development from the tourism and sports sector. Today’s announcement of our presence is a clear indication of our goal to create positive commercial results and bring value to society through this sports industry.”

Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, emphasised the importance of the merger between 54 Group and Golf Development Solutions in Vietnam: “Ben Styles and Nguyen Hoang Tu Anh are highly regarded experts in the industry. We fully support today’s announcement by 54, a group that has demonstrated progressive and creative views that are helping to bring sports investment to destinations. Our collaboration with 54 to date will maximize the potential of sports tourism, especially golf.”

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