Global Edition

10,000ft To The Opening Ceremony

12.12pm 24th September 2021 - Ryder Cup Business

Few sporting events combine an intense atmosphere, sporting drama and excellence, and global interest in the same way as the Ryder Cup has done since 1927. The ‘Ultimate Journey’ to the opening ceremony, for which Worldwide Partner BMW, BMW Group Designworks and the team around wingsuit pilot Peter Salzmann (AUT) chose the skies above Wisconsin as the stage, was equally spectacular.

You can view the “Ultimate Journey” video and microsite at:

Equipped with a wingsuit in a Ryder Cup design, as well as a transport capsule for the trophy, specially developed by BMW Group Designworks for that purpose, Salzmann and his team leapt out of a helicopter from 3,000 metres above sea level.

The Ryder Cup Trophy Case was fastened to the Austrian’s body using a construction that guaranteed him the necessary freedom of movement and also had the required aerodynamic properties. This made it possible to land safely with the trophy after two minutes of flying, despite a top speed of 230 km/h, before it was driven in its case to the opening ceremony at Whistling Straits in the BMW Group’s fully-electric technology flagship, the BMW iX xDrive50*. The Ultimate Journey ended with Salzmann carrying the trophy onto the stage at the opening ceremony.

“The Ryder Cup is of significant importance in the golfing and sporting world. This contest casts its spell over the competitors and teams, just as it does the enthusiastic spectators at the course and the many fans watching from the edge of their seats all over the world,” said Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand Communication and Brand Experience BMW Group.

“To acknowledge the prominent position of this competition, and to celebrate the premiere of BMW as Worldwide Partner of the Ryder Cup, we wanted to make the arrival of the trophy particularly special. To do so, we created a unique case for the trophy, which is both innovative and representative.”

The chief criterion when developing the trophy case was to protect the Ryder Cup during the stunt. At the same time, it had to guarantee the freedom to move for the wingsuit pilot, as well as optimal aerodynamic properties. Furthermore, it should be an emotive design, which continues to represent the status of the trophy and the event even after the stunt – the challenge was to create a product that is innovative, luxurious and inspiring, and thus reflects the spirit of BMW i. A challenge tailor-made for Designworks, the innovative engine of the BMW Group, with its expertise in bringing together the needs of mobility and other sectors.

“When asked to work on this project connected to the historical Ryder Cup event it was something that excited me to be part of. We just knew it had to be a product that blends the BMW i excitement for technology with the prestigious and honourable aspects surrounding the event itself,” said Tommy Forsgren, Designworks Lead Designer. “The case design is a true innovative BMW i product – its premium qualities and exclusivity matching the new BMW iX in terms of colour and material finish.”

The trophy case consists of an outer aluminium frame and a 3D printed space frame capsule with large gaps, allowing the Ryder Cup trophy to be seen, even when closed and during the flight. The case can be attached to the interior skeleton of the wingsuit just as quickly as it can to a wall – for example, for exhibition purposes. The opening mechanism is like that found on a wing door.

BMW Golfsport

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