Scudamore tapped by European Tour to boost Ryder Cup coffers
Richard Scudamore, the erstwhile executive chairman of English soccer's Premier League, has been hired by golf's European Tour to help increase revenues from the Ryder Cup, the biennial contest between USA and Europe.
The job is Scudamore’s first paid role since leaving the Premier League at the end of 2018.
He will join the Ryder Cup Committee of high-profile sports and business executives led by Damon Buffini, a non-executive director of the European Tour board, and a former head of private equity firm Permira.
Alongside Buffini and Scudamore on the committee are: Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour; Paul McGinley, captain of the victorious European team at the 2014 Ryder Cup; Guy Kinnings, deputy chief executive of the European Tour, director and chief commercial officer of the Ryder Cup, and the former chairman of golf at the IMG agency; and Ian Ritchie, chairman of England's Premiership Rugby, and the former chief executive of the Rugby Football Union and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
David Williams, the chairman of the European Tour, said: "The success of the 2018 Ryder Cup in France demonstrated the global appeal of the modern-day Ryder Cup, but there remains significant growth potential. This committee will look at ways of optimising that while also protecting the contest’s rich heritage.
"In many ways, the Ryder Cup Committee mirrors precisely what we have on the board of the European Tour in terms of a balance between sports professionals and business leaders. It is also illustrative of the best practices of corporate governance that I am proud we have initiated in recent years.
"I am delighted to welcome Ian and Richard to the committee. They will bring valuable insight from their time in the business of other sports, to add to the considerable golfing expertise brought by Paul, Keith and Guy. And in Sir Damon, who has worked alongside me on the European Tour board since 2015, the committee has a chairman who is one of the most experienced businessmen in the country."
The next Ryder Cup takes place at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin in 2020, under the auspices of the PGA of America, with Italy to stage the next edition on European soil, in 2022.
The European Tour said the new committee will work closer with the PGA of America through the expansion of the worldwide partner and supplier programme, and will also oversee investment in Ryder Cup infrastructure to enhance delivery in key areas, including sales, hospitality, ticketing and merchandise.
France’s economy enjoyed a boost of more than €235 million ($267.7 million) from hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, according to an economic report released last week.
The tournament had an attendance of over 270,000, according to the report compiled in the UK by the Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, which was commissioned by Ryder Cup Europe and supported by the French Golf Federation.
The figure took into account spending by all spectators and others attending the event, as well as organisational spending, including by the FFG and French authorities on course and infrastructure upgrades, and the development of 100 municipal golf facilities, as well as other indirect or induced spending.
This represents a significant increase on the £106 million ($134.3 million) of economic activity in Scotland as a result of Gleneagles hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup.Scudamore announced a year ago that he would step down from the Premier League at the end of 2018. He had led the organisation for 19 years, initially as chief executive, before assuming the executive chairman role in 2014.
His exit sparked controversy when it emerged he would receive a £5-million payout, over the next three years, "in recognition of the outstanding work" he had carried out at the league.
Scudamore remains involved with the league in an advisory capacity.
The Premier League has yet to appoint a chief executive as his successor, after Susanna Dinnage, the global president of media giant Discovery’s Animal Planet brand, pulled out of the role at the end of last year. Tim Davie also rejected the position, electing instead to stay on as chief executive of BBC Studios, the production and distribution arm of the public-service broadcaster.
Premier League managing director Richard Masters could now be appointed to the role on a full-time basis after impressing in the interim.