Ryder Cup is a premier golf event which take place every two years between team from Europe against Team United States. The venues are alternated with every competition turn wise in Europe and USA. The competition is one of the most prestigious and it is orgnized by joint venture of PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe.
Started as a simple tournament between Team Great Britain vs Team USA back in 1927, USA dominated this event and after the World War II players from Ireland and mainland europe were also included and it became Europe vs America affair. As far as the financial health of the competition is concerned it use to be just a “cost” tournament but when the TV rights came into play back in last 70s it turned profit for the first time in 1985. Since than it as grown in importance and prestige and we take a look at the financial model of this highly lucrative golf event.
Ryder Cup Financial Model:
Since the tournament became mainstream event on TV in last 70s and early 80s it started to post profit thanks to highly lucrative TV deals in both Europe and USA. When the Ryder Cup takes place in USA, PGA of America owns the rights and get a 5:1 share of money compared to Europe. While European Ryder Cup retains 60% of the income when it takes place in Europe.
In the last decade or so, Ryder Cup is posting profit both in USA and Europe and sometime it even overshadow the major golf tournaments like US Open or British Open etc.
Where the Money comes from ?
Majority of the money comes from absolute ground breaking TV deals in USA and Britain. SkySports has the rights of Ryder Cup for best part of last 30 years and they pay alot of money for the rights in UK. While NBC has recently signed a lucrative 15 year deal to get the live rights in US territories.
Other sources of income are from ticket sales and sponsorship. 2016 tournament is taking place in Chaska, Minnesota and its expected that around 250,000 people will attend at some point and that includes around 45,000 on each of the three main days. Ticket cost on the main days is around $150 to $180 each. So thats around $25m just from ticket sales.
While Ryder Cup has huge number of high profile sponsorship and partnership deals. Exclusive deals with Rolex, BMW and Johnnie Walker and number of partnering deals with companies like FedEx, RBS and Nespresso etc.
So how much profit does Ryder Cup generate ? In the last few years total revenue has been around $50m to $70m with income reaching over $10 million
Do Players get paid in Ryder Cup ?
No, players don’t get any prize money from the Ryder Cup but since the commercial boom of the sport players agent has struck a deal with Ryder Cup authorities which sees $200,000 per american player donated by PGA of America (50% going to players nominated charities and the other 50% goes to educational causes on players name)
Although players/agents and the orgnizing authorities of Ryder Cup both in US and Europe are in tug of war to get share of the earnings for players.