Golf’s European Tour to be renamed the DP World Tour from the start of 2022 season, featuring 47 tournaments in 27 countries and £147m in prize money
- The new global tour in 2022 will feature 47 tournaments in 27 countries
- New events in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Africa and Belgium
- The move comes as the European Tour reaches its 50th anniversary
The European Tour will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year by ditching its moniker and ushering in a new era in a historic naming rights deal, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Traditionalists will no doubt cry ‘shame!’ but such is the vast scale of the 10-year deal, there would have been a riot among the tour’s membership if it had not been accepted. ‘What a time to be a golfer in his 20s,’ reflected Tommy Fleetwood, as the game demonstrated once more that no sport has emerged from the pandemic in ruder health.
Henceforth to be known as the DP World Tour, the financial impact will be felt instantly, with next year’s packed schedule featuring 47 events and worth over $200million, the first time that figure has been reached.
Tommy Fleetwood (above) welcomed the lucrative 10-year deal with Dubai-based DP World
The European Tour was worth $104m this year and $70m in 2020.
DP World has been a loyal sponsor of the season-ending event in Dubai for the last dozen years and next year’s edition will be worth $10m alone, the first time any tour prize fund has hit eight figures.
The supporting cast are not forgotten either. Every event sanctioned solely by the tour will be worth a minimum of $2m. When you think where the tour was during the height of the pandemic, desperately seeking to put on $1m events, it is a remarkable turnaround.
The Challenge Tour — the reserve circuit for the game’s wannabes — will be upgraded considerably as well. ‘This deal is so ground-breaking it will enable us to elevate the tour in every way,’ said chief executive Keith Pelley. ‘Easy day to have a smile on your face.’
European Tour was worth $104m in 2021 and $70m in 2020 after emerging from the pandemic
As for the change of name, Pelley pointed out that it had long been a misnomer. ‘We’ll have 23 tournaments in Europe and 24 at venues worldwide next year,’ he pointed out. ‘We’re very much a world tour.’
One question remained unanswered. Alongside the PGA Tour’s enormous financial efforts to keep players sweet, will this be enough to ward off the Saudis, and the breathtaking incentives they’ve offered the stars in an attempt to launch a world tour of their own?
‘We can have the Saudi conversation next week,’ promised Pelley, understandably unwilling to be distracted on this momentous occasion.
Interestingly, all the Europeans the Saudis have targeted posted supportive videos for the DP World Tour at the lavish announcement staged at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
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