Tuesday heralded a new era in golf after the European Tour announced it will be rebranded as the DP World Tour from next season.
The announcement represents a significant deal in terms of global sports partnerships, with DP World’s substantial commitment dedicated to three key areas: elevating the Tour in every way, growing the game of golf globally, and driving positive community impact.
The new look DP World Tour will see total prize money break through the $200 million mark for the first time, with a new minimum prize fund of $2 million for all tournaments solely sanctioned by the DP World Tour.
In 2022, the DP World Tour will represent a truly global tour through an international schedule, that will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments in 27 different countries, including new tournaments in the UAE, Japan, South Africa and Belgium and an expanded Rolex Series comprising five events: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
The season-ending event in Dubai will also see its prize fund increase to $10 million from next season, which will make the final Rolex Series tournament of 2022 the first European Tour event in history outside the Majors and WGCs to feature an eight-figure prize fund.
For the first time, it will also feature three tournaments co-sanctioned with the PGA TOUR - the aforementioned Genesis Scottish Open, as well as the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship taking place in the United States – as a result of the Strategic Alliance between male professional golf’s two leading Tours.
"We're very grateful for these opportunities that are coming," said England's Tommy Fleetwood. "Its an amazing moment in our sport. For a young child winning on the DP World Tour sounds amazing. It's very exciting."
The European Tour and DP World were both established in 1972 and have since developed into global enterprises with DP World, which is headquartered in Dubai, evolving into the leading provider of global smart end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions.
DP World’s association with the European Tour spans more than a decade, first becoming a presenting partner of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates in its inaugural year in 2009, before the Rolex Series event was renamed the DP World Tour Championship in 2012. It was in this year that DP World became the tournament’s title partner.
DP World then became an Official Partner of the European Tour in 2015, and they will now become the Official Title Partner of the Tour from the start of the 2022 season, which begins with the Joburg Open in South Africa, from November 22-25.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “Today’s announcement is undoubtedly a momentous one in the proud history of our Tour. The launch of the DP World Tour in 2022, coinciding with both of our 50th anniversaries, will herald a new era in global golf, and crucially it will benefit everybody involved – all our players, caddies, fans and partners – as well as making an important contribution to wider society.
“The entire ecosystem of our Tour will be strengthened because of this hugely significant deal, and that was essential to us and to DP World, who have been an incredible supporter of our Tour as well as golf more widely, from grassroots through to the elite professional game. The DP World Tour is, therefore, a natural evolution of our decade-long partnership, and the presence of ‘World’ in our new title better reflects our global reach.”
Growing the game globally is one of most significant pillars of the new partnership, which includes investment in the Challenge Tour by elevating prize funds and increasing playing opportunities, as well as improving the overall infrastructure of events.
There is also a huge commitment to grassroots golf at every country the Euopean Tour visit, including the UAE, where the DP World Tour will work closely with the current grassroots programme.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “DP World has been a partner of the European Tour for over a decade. Our long-standing partnership has provided an excellent platform to engage with customers, prospects, and stakeholders, and build our brand. We have relished the opportunity to support the Tour in growing the game of golf and improving access to the sport at all levels. The key to this success has been and will continue to be the shared vision and values that underpin the partnership.
“We both have a global mindset, are committed to inclusivity, and invest in new technologies to stay competitive – attributes which today become the fundamental principles of the DP World Tour. As the leading provider of smart logistics solutions worldwide, we will use our people, assets, and connectivity to help grow the Tour further and change what’s possible in golf.”
Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR and Board Member of the European Tour, added; “Thanks to the support of long-standing partner DP World, today’s announcement significantly elevates the European Tour on a global basis. We are excited for the continued growth and evolution of the European Tour, as well as the momentum this provides toward our Strategic Alliance. I’ve said before that our respective Tours are positioned to grow – together – over the next 10 years faster than we ever have at any point in our existence, and today’s announcement is another point of proof in those efforts.”