The European Tour and the North American PGA Tour have announced a strategic alliance, described as a “historic moment for the game of golf”.
The partnership will see the two organisations work together on strategic commercial opportunities, which includes a collaboration on global media rights in particular territories.
As part of the deal, the PGA Tour has acquired a minority investment stake in European Tour Productions (ETP), the media company in charge of producing and distributing content to international audiences on behalf of the European Tour.
With further details to be provided regarding the deal, the United States-based establishment has confirmed that the two Tours will work together on global scheduling, prize funds and playing opportunities for each of their members.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who is been in the position since January 2017, will also take a seat on the Board of the European Tour.
“This partnership is an historic moment for the game of golf and is a fantastic opportunity for both the European Tour and the PGA TOUR to explore ways to come together at the very pinnacle of our sport and work in unison for the benefit of the men’s professional game,” started Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour.
“Today’s announcement is the formalisation of a closer working relationship between the Tours in recent years. It was one which was crystalised earlier this year when both Jay and I were part of the working group containing representatives of the four Majors and the LPGA, a group which helped shape the remainder of the golfing calendar for 2020 during unprecedented times.
“We shared the challenges of working through a year neither of us could have ever imagined and we found definite synergies in many areas of our respective Tours. That gave us the impetus to move forward together and arrive at this momentous announcement we are making today.”
Rumours have been circulating regarding a possible merger between the two organisations for some time, but talks were accelerated this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a detrimental financial impact on the sport.
The partnership has been called for by high-level organisers and golfers alike, including former world number one Rory McIlroy, who invited a unification between the two tours as a way of simplifying golf at the highest level.
Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, said: “We are thrilled to announce this further strengthening of our partnership with the European Tour, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the men’s professional game and for golf fans around the world.”
Author: Jake Wilkin