The 2009 European Tour International Schedule will herald an exciting new era in the game with the introduction of The Race To Dubai and, in recognition of this significant development, The European Tour has unveiled the restyled branding which will reflect that evolution.
Although the new look will not be launched officially until 6th November, some of its key elements can be seen at The European Open which starts at The London Club today. These include the new logo, featuring the silhouette of Harry Vardon – ‘the first touring golf professional’ – and the ‘World Skyline’ which represents some of the iconic buildings in many of the 26 countries in which the European Tour schedules its events.
George O‘Grady, chief executive of The European Tour, confirmed that there has also been a review of whether the name of the Tour itself should be changed. After talking with the Tour’s business partners around the world and the players themselves, however, it had been agreed there should be no change.
“Whenever we go to other parts of the world, Africa, Asia, Australia, they want The European Tour. It’s not me they see, it’s not our organisation, it’s our players. The players see us as The European Tour and when you talk to the Thai players, the Chinese players and so on they want that tag. They want to be European Tour players.
“So in the end, we listened to all of the constituent parts of The European Tour and they told us, don‘t change your name, hold where you are.”
The Tour discussed the restyling options with several agencies and in the end placed the work with Future Brand, a New York based agency with offices all round the world, which conducted research into how the Tour is perceived.
The total costs of the re-branding exercise have not yet been disclosed – indeed they are not yet completed- but have been confirmed as ‘a substantial six-figure sum’.
“Through discussions with the players and with Leisurecorp, with whom the Tour are partners in The Race to Dubai and The Dubai World Championship, we confirmed the importance of linking the past with the future,” says Scott Kelly, the Tour’s group marketing director. “With golf this is especially valid because of the tradition of the game and its continuing global growth with which The European Tour is delighted to be associated.
“Harry Vardon is an iconic figure whom many identify as the first touring professional and the world skyline provides an invocative image of the stage on which the players of The European Tour now compete. In bringing them together in the new branding we respect tradition and recognise the future.”
The new European Tour identity will be officially introduced at the start of The 2009 European Tour International Schedule in November when The Race to Dubai – a US$10,000,000 season-long competition for the world’s leading golfers – will culminate in the Number 1 to 60 players qualifying for the US$10,000,000 Dubai World Championship.
The Dubai World Championship will be played on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, UAE, from November 19-22, 2009, at which time a player could face the prospect of standing over a putt for US$3,666,660 to capture the title, Number One position in The Race to Dubai and The Harry Vardon Trophy.
Leisurecorp’s chief executive for golf, David Spencer, said, “We think The European Tour is a very strong name that represents the heritage of golf. At LeisureCorp, we have great respect for the game of golf and great respect for the players that make up The European Tour and, of course, its fine administration team. We think the refresh of the brand is fantastic. The European Tour to us represents exactly what it is; and we felt as an aligned partner and a sponsor, there’s no need to change the name.”
The European Tour www.europeantour.com