The R&A and IMG extend and evolve long-standing partnership
The R&A has renewed and expanded its long-standing partnership with IMG, a global leader in sports, media and events, to create and invest in new commercial opportunities that drive long-term growth and support its wider strategy.
The R&A group of companies was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open, golf’s original championship, and developing the sport.
Starting in January, the new long-term agreement will see Endeavor-owned IMG provide best-in-class digital services, powered by its digital arm Seven League; continue to evolve The R&A’s world-class production and content offering across its professional championships; distribute their international media rights; evolve the partnership structure across The R&A’s portfolio of championships and assets; and provide event management support for its championships.
The two companies are exploring further opportunities to expand the relationship across other areas, including OTT/streaming with Endeavor Streaming, hospitality with Endeavor’s On Location, and sports data with IMG Arena.
Seven League will focus on enhancing and amplifying The R&A’s existing digital assets, content and experiences, while creating future value through audience growth and new products and content formats supported by IMG’s production team.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, commented: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with IMG and to leverage their expertise on a deeper level as we continue to evolve as an organisation. Enhancing our media and digital expertise, evolving our partnership programme, ensuring our championships continue to be world-leading and diversifying our business are key to our long-term commercial success. Our purpose is to ensure that golf is thriving 50 years from now and this partnership will help us open up a whole new range of opportunities.”
Adam Kelly, president of IMG Media, added: “The R&A is one of IMG’s longest-standing and most prestigious clients, and we are excited to be evolving our 50-year relationship into a more holistic, integrated partnership. This new chapter will see us apply significant capabilities and expertise, including embedding dedicated best-in-class digital and sponsorship teams into The R&A, as we work together to support their ambitions for growth and golf development strategy.”
In recent years, IMG has played a vital role in supporting The R&A on the event delivery of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship and the Women’s Open. Under the new agreement, IMG will extend this support across The R&A’s professional and amateur championships.