Scotland has agreed a unique partnership with global sports, media and events organisation IMG to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, ensuring the country hosts a world-class spectacle and delivers on its key principles of equality, experience and innovation.
Appointed by VisitScotland on behalf of The Scottish Government, IMG will bring its vast expertise and experience to ensure the competition will be one of the best in the tournament’s history.
Announcing the partnership during the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“This partnership brings together two of the world-leading brands within the global golf industry and will allow Scotland to realise the many benefits of hosting one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet.
“IMG’s vast experience in staging major events will ensure that Scotland stages the best-ever Solheim Cup when it visits Gleneagles in 2019 and delivers a spectator experience that is second to none.
“They share our vision of an open and inclusive event and will work alongside us to show that in Scotland golf is a family-orientated game that is open to everyone. We want to use The 2019 Solheim Cup to encourage greater participation among women, young people and families and IMG’s strong track record in the women’s game will help us to achieve this.”
The Solheim Cup is the biggest event in women’s golf, pitting European and US teams against each other in a team format which mirrors that of The Ryder Cup. Scotland was awarded the right to host The 2019 Solheim Cup in October 2015 following a successful bid led by VisitScotland. Responsibility for delivering the event on behalf of The Scottish Government will sit with the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate.
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:
“IMG is one of the most experienced sports events organisations in the world and, having worked with them over the years on various projects, we are confident their professional and innovative approach will help us to deliver the best Solheim Cup to date and one of the best sporting occasions to be hosted in Scotland.
“We are proud to have played a role in enhancing the Ryder Cup brand with the 2014 staging in Scotland and look forward to doing the same with the Solheim Cup through this partnership with IMG.
“After a thorough procurement process, IMG stood head and shoulders above the other candidates in terms of their experience, in-house resources and their standing and experience within the golf industry. They share our key principles in the bid of equality, experience and innovation and we are very much looking forward to working together.”
As a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, IMG operate in more than 30 countries with unrivaled experience in event delivery. IMG’s Golf Division has staged more than 750 golf events and their current portfolio includes over thirty tournaments staged annually around the globe, of which two are women’s Majors. The organisation has previous experience of delivering major golf events in Scotland through their work with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Johnnie Walker Championship over many years.
Guy Kinnings, Global Head of IMG Golf said:
“We are delighted to have been chosen to partner with VisitScotland to deliver The 2019 Solheim Cup. It is a fantastic challenge to deliver a Solheim Cup in Scotland following the success of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Our team can’t wait to get started on this exciting project and we look forward wholeheartedly to working with the considerable resources within the Scottish government to ensure that this Solheim Cup delivers in every aspect.”
IMG will engage with the European Tour to benefit from their advice and learnings from the 2014 Ryder Cup, also hosted at Gleneagles.
The event is regarded as the biggest tournament in women’s golf and sees the best female professional golfers in Europe competing against their United States counterparts, attracting a huge worldwide audience and media profile for the host country.
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour, said:
“We welcome the appointment of IMG to partner with Scotland on the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup. We are confident it is in excellent hands and look forward to an event that will continue to enhance the reputation of the women’s game on an international stage and inspire many more women and juniors to get involved in the sport.”
About The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country and continent. This biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition features the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET). The Solheim Cup is named in honour of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for the Solheim Cup, professional golf’s international match-play competition for women. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The Solheim Cup is the most highly coveted trophy in women’s professional golf team competition; some of the most memorable moments in the sport have happened during past Solheim Cups, and berths on the European and U.S. teams are highly sought-after by players from both organisations. The 2017 Solheim Cup will take place on August 14-20 at Des Moines Country Club in Iowa, United States. The U.S. Team enters the competition holding the Cup and will need 14 points to retain it, with the European Team needing 14½ points to regain the coveted Waterford Crystal prize. For more information log on to www.solheimcup.com.
Picture caption: Guy Kinnings, Global Head of IMG Golf; First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour announce a partnership to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
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- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016
- Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme