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November 13, 2013

Jean-Noel Bioul

Paul McGinley

George O'Grady


SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attendance here with us this morning on what is not just an important day for all of us at The European Tour, but also a very significant one as we continue to look ahead, and indeed, build for the future.
To get this morning's announcement underway, I would like to introduce our top table.テつ To my immediate right, George O'Grady, Chief Executive of the European Tour.テつ On my far right is Jean‑noel Bioul, who is the communications director, golf, for Rolex.テつ And in the middle, our Ryder Cup Captain for 2014, Paul McGinley.テつ Without further ado, the floor is yours, George, to unveil the details of today's announcement.
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for joining us this morning and to our Ryder Cup Captain, that you, also, for making the trip here to Dubai to chat I think with a lot of your perspective team members.
This is an amazing day for The European Tour.テつ This is an historic agreement when we are going with one of our strongest corporate partners at the moment, Rolex; we are extending our association for ten years, of which the key points really are that they are going to be involved in The Ryder Cup, as well as one of our partners there.テつ But more than that, they are going to back the Tour, all our tours, The European Tour itself, the Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour.
They are giving us amazing confidence for the future, confidence to develop the game around the world in the way that we think fit.テつ The values that Rolex bring to their association with sport, and in particular golf, are values very much shared by The European Tour.テつ They go to developing markets; they go to all different countries in the world where we go, and they do things exceptionally well.テつ They have got a team of ambassadors who represent the brand amazingly well.
And the message I give today is a ten‑year confidence in our strategy for the future, and we couldn't be doing it with a better partner.テつ Thank you.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Jean‑noel, on behalf of Rolex, I'm sure you would like to say a few words.
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつ Good morning.テつ On behalf of Rolex, we have a very simple phrase:テつ Golf is Rolex, Rolex is golf.
And not to repeat what George has said, I think we are extremely proud to extend our relationship which basically started in the early 90s, '97, I believe.テつ And we have seen The European Tour grow up and we are extremely excited to see the growth of the game with The European Tour, and I wish success to the future, thank you.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thank you, Jean‑noel.
As George said there, obviously the deal encompasses both European Tour and Ryder Cup.テつ There's no better man to speak about both of those elements than Paul McGinley obviously Ryder Cup Captain but as a member of our Tournament Committee.テつ Your thoughts on today's announcement, please.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Thank you, Scott and good morning.
Obviously I'm thrilled myself on a number of levels.テつ As Ryder Cup Captain, obviously No. 1; as an ambassador for over a decade for Rolex; and thirdly, as a member of the committee and working closely with George on where the Tour is going; to have such an investment in such a premiere brand is a great thing for the Tour.テつ On three different levels I'm very happy for this announcement and looking forward to the future.

Q.テつ You talked about‑‑ you mentioned having more confidence in the future.テつ How is the support from Rolex actually going to translate into growth of the Tour?テつ How is it actually going to happen?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ I think the values where golf is going are shared at the very top of Rolex.テつ They have strong marketing operations in every country in the world we go to.テつ They are giving us obviously some financial backing; that means that we can develop certain tournaments on all three tours in a way that we think is appropriate for the Tour.テつ It is enabling us to increase our management structure in terms of our marketing abilities, our public relations abilities and our investment in junior golf throughout the world.
Basically they are sharing the values we have for the way forward for the Tour.テつ I think we have seen, we are announcing our teaching academy, European Tour Performance Institute at the bottom of practice range yesterday.テつ These things take investment.
We are seeing it here in Dubai.テつ There are so many young Dubai children playing the game; much more than when we started 25 years ago.テつ And I think the shared values of bringing the values of golf to the countries we visit, we share at the very top of Rolex.テつ It's going to be great.

Q.テつ What do you see in The European Tour that really excites you, and kind of helps you negotiate a ten‑year deal with them?
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつ Basically we started our relationship with golf back in the early 60s.テつ Our commitment to golf has been there for almost 50 years.テつ So for us to see the long‑term strong partners doesn't afraid us.テつ So it's good to have ten‑year relationship on both sides.
So it's just to prove our commitment towards The European Tour and the growth of the game.テつ I think we have the same vacation that George has for The European Tour.テつ I think we see that it's very exciting to know that for the next ten years, we are going to be supporting and helping and developing the game on The European Tour.

Q.テつ You won't tell me, but I'll ask anyway:テつ What's it worth?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ Above the money, it's the confidence; the ability to now go in the direction we want to go.
We've read in many papers of the challenges we're facing on The European Tour, and rumours of our demise are slightly exaggerated I think.テつ I think this shows that these partners we have, the band of corporate partners we have, that go across the Tour; it's quite well known what the existing partnership in a Ryder Cup would be.
But I think, no, I can't tell you the answer to that.テつ I wouldn't liken it to, but years ago we started a Volvo Tour where they believed in the European Tour to bring it as a strong European game.
This is a really global brand giving us the confidence on the global stage, and we have to respect the faith they put in us and repay that across the world.テつ And to do that, it does take quite a lot of money.

Q.テつ Financially is it a big leap?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ Financially it's a big leap.テつ It's a great confidence booster; great.

Q.テつ How will we see Rolex?テつ Does it involve the starter like Ivor Robson?テつ Any new ideas?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ I think the visibility you see for Rolex at the moment is pretty strong.テつ It's commensurate with how they like their brand positioned.テつ They feel the value of Ivor Robson is the consistency on the first tee; the players, most of the players like it.テつ It's a comfortable feeling when they see Ivor.テつ Ivor is obviously getting on a bit now and it wouldn't be unreasonable to think when he goes into his 70s, it's a bit tough, especially at an Open Championship when you stand on the first tee all day.
But that kind of a solidarity that they have, reliability, quality performance in delivery is exactly what the Rolex brand stands for and is exactly what we seek on The European Tour.テつ That's just one visible component.

Q.テつ Will he continue?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ Ivor will continue for as long as his health is good.テつ I know it's his ambition to continue as far as The Open Championship at St. Andrews, which to him is‑‑ to everybody who attends an Open at St. Andrews, you get the goosebumps when you go to the Home of Golf.
I think he will certainly go on to that; I think even if he has to go on a Zimmer frame, which he certainly doesn't have to yet.テつ But I think he's slowed down a bit‑‑ that's talking to him; you don't have to ask Ivor, but he's welcome as long as he can continue doing the superb professional job he does at the moment.

Q.テつ I know down the years with various hats on you have an awareness of what's involved in sponsorship, but as a Ryder Cup Captain, are you learning new things and new appreciation of what's actually involved in everything else that goes on behind the scenes?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, hugely, to be honest, it's been a massive learning curb for me, what are we, now, nine months since I was appointed.
With the background in business that I have, I'm interested in business anyway, and it's been a huge sense of enlightenment watching how things evolve in a business sense and how the Tour goes about its business and how brands like Rolex become involved and speaking to people like Jean‑noel and understanding why the company want to be positioned with The European Tour and the reasoning behind it is a great education for me and I've really enjoyed it.
It's been a part of the job that I've really enjoyed is understanding and seeing the commercial aspect of The Ryder Cup as well as obviously the most fun bit which is dealing with the players.

Q.テつ I was just wondering what all you have planned for this week?テつ You mentioned a bit of a scouting trip to put eyes on some of the elite guys who are all in one place for easy window shopping, and what else is on your schedule of things to do.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, I have a number of things to do this week and some more work for the Tour this week with various visits to the hospitality tents and stuff like that.テつ I'm doing a bit of work with SKY TV and obviously communicating with a lot of players.
I played in Shanghai three weeks ago and contacted everybody there.テつ Next year I'll do the same.テつ I've got five events for SKY next year; all five will be in the States.テつ So, you know, the guys who are based in the States, I'm going to be in regular contact with them.テつ And the guys on The European Tour, I'm playing The European Tour myself so I'll be in regular contact with them.テつ So I'd like to hope that I have all bases covered between those two elements.

Q.テつ Rolex is done for the next ten years, they are your partners.テつ Can you tell us a bit about your other main partners like BMW and Emirates, where is your standing with them?
GEORGE O'GRADY:テつ Well, it's well known, sponsorship, you've seen several here in Dubai this week.テつ Emirates obviously is an airline partner.テつ BMW is probably, in terms of title sponsorships, our strongest in that division with their event in Shanghai, the BMW PGA Championship and in Munich.
We work on media partnerships, as well.テつ We announced during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a ten‑year extension with the Golf Channel and NBC television in the United States.テつ NBC covered the last two days of The Scottish Open.テつ I know our American television coverage doesn't really sort of get excitement back here.テつ We had to take the marketing to a worldwide basis, and we were very successful at The Scottish Open; the ratings were very high in the United States.テつテつ We were slightly lucky I suppose that Phil Mickelson did not just win it, but win it in the most tremendous Phil Mickelson style.
We've got a long‑term deal with SKY Television in the United Kingdom.テつ We have stronger agreements in the television sense around the world; many of whom, our rest of the world partners, are here in Dubai this week.テつ This is a great, as we envisaged, central meeting place for the international European Tour.テつ And I think the other sponsors are more individual tournament sponsors in that sense.テつ I think we are looking at other ones, but those are the key ones.
The framework, the building blocks, are ready, to reflect on how we are going to develop the game.テつ We know we have our challenges with our top players.テつ We know and we'll discuss on Sunday, how The Final Series has or hasn't worked.
I think by the time we come to Sunday afternoon, we are in for a phenomenal week of golf this week.テつ All the players, whatever the ins and outs the last couple of weeks, the guys, I don't know how many can win this Race to Dubai now, I believe it's about seven or eight, maybe nine, but there's realistically four people with a very good chance.
Hopefully this goes to the 72nd hole on Sunday afternoon.

Q.テつ In terms of Rolex's portfolio in sport sponsorships, where would this stand in terms of financial commitment?
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつテつ I'm not sure I understood.

Q.テつ Rolex's portfolio, sports sponsorships, where would this stand in terms of financial commitments?テつ Is this the biggest one or are there others?
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつ Well, I'm not going to release you exactly the‑‑

Q.テつ I don't want to know the figures.テつ I just want to know where it stands in Rolex's portfolio?
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつ The European Tour commitment goes along with the other commitment that we have with the R&A and the Masters and PGA TOUR in the States and The Ryder Cup.
And so ten years, commitment, as I said, I mean, it's basically confirmed our willingness to support the game and support The European Tour.テつ I think we feel equally strong about extending our relationship with The European Tour for ten years like we have with the R&A or the USGA.

Q.テつ Do you have any other similar deals in other sports of this magnitude?
JEAN‑NOEL BIOUL:テつ I think golf is our premiere sponsorship communication activity.テつ So, yes, we do focus probably‑‑ obviously we have a lot of different commitment but golf is the first one.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thank you for your attendance.テつ Gentlemen, thank you for your attendance, and enjoy the rest of the week and obviously look forward to the next ten years.テつ Thank you very much.

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