1920 Worldwide appointed by Golf Ireland to develop commercial strategy

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Swan Lake at Galgorm Castle - By Kevin Markham

1920 Worldwide, a sports marketing and commercial innovation business, has been appointed by Golf Ireland to undertake a review of the organisation’s commercial activities with the aim of developing new commercial opportunities to support the continued development of the sport in Ireland.

Golf Ireland – officially launched in January 2021 following the historic vote by members of the former Irish Ladies Golfing Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland – is the governing body for the game on the island. Almost 400 clubs are affiliated to the NGB with more than 220,000 active club members. According to research carried out by The R&A and Golf Ireland, an additional 300,000 non-members play at least twice annually, presenting a unique opportunity for Golf Ireland to capitalise on the surge in popularity experienced throughout the pandemic.

Golf Ireland Commercial & Marketing Director, Vicky Tyas, has bold ambitions for the organisation over the coming years: “Following the creation of Golf Ireland, and the launch last year of our first five-year strategic plan, we are now in a strong position to further develop the commercial strategy to take advantage of the record numbers playing the game.

“2022 was one of the biggest years ever for amateur golf on the island. Membership figures grew a further 8% after a 12% increase during the height of the pandemic, 2.6 million scores were submitted to our handicapping database, we hosted over 100 Championships, and 25,000 players took part in our Inter-Club competitions. Through the development of our strategic plan, we also identified that over 40% of the adult population are open to trying the game.

“Add to that the impact of the return of the KMPG Women’s Irish Open, the 2025 Open at Royal Portrush and the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor, there really has never been a better time for brands to get involved with the sport and connect directly with its participants.”

Tyas continued: “We have some fantastic longstanding relationships with partners who supported the legacy organisations and have since come on the journey with us at Golf Ireland. For us to continue to make progress we felt it best to work with an external consultancy to get a wider commercial perspective of the opportunities so that we can work more effectively with our current partners, and welcome new ones to the sport. We are delighted to be partnering with 1920 Worldwide, whose vast commercial experience in sport globally, we believe will help us to shape our strategy.”

Gavin McAllister, Managing Director, 1920 Worldwide (Dublin), added: “Golf Ireland has everything in place to be one of Ireland’s most commercially successful governing bodies. We are delighted to bring our network, insight and innovation capabilities to help them to realise their full commercial potential.”

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