SBD/September 28, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Omega President Compares Clean Sponsorship Look Of Ryder Cup To Olympics

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Urquhart (r) said Omega's main focus currently is on the American market
Omega President Stephen Urquhart said he loves the clean look of the Ryder Cup, which has minimal sponsor presence when the event is held in the U.S. In fact, Omega, the official timekeeper of the Ryder Cup, by virtue of its PGA of America deal, has the only branded presence on the course with its clocks near the tee boxes. Urquhart said the minimalist approach reminds him of the Olympics. As he surveyed the crowd of people walking through the Omega activation tent at Medinah County Club, Urquhart weighed in on a few other topics. He noted the Omega brand “has had its ups and downs over the years” in the U.S. market, but it has “come back much stronger in the last few years.” He said, “We made a big decision a few years ago to concentrate our efforts on our own retail stores and now we’ve got 27 of them in the U.S., so that’s been a major investment. We’ve gotten out of the chains. I think golf working with our retail stores in something that can take us to the next level.” Urquhart noted the company has “three waves of guests coming in” during the Ryder Cup. Urquhart: “We have some coming in from Europe and Asia, but most it’s end-consumers from the U.S. The U.S. market is so big, that’s where we’re concentrating. At the Olympics, we brought in a lot more of our retail partners, but here it’s more the end consumer that we’re bringing in. It’ll be about 450 people total for the week.” He said the company has been told more than 200,000 people will come through the Omega tent at Medinah, which is “really pretty impressive.” Meanwhile, Urquhart said of Omega’s spend on the European Tour, “We still have our tournament in Switzerland and our tournament in Dubai, and there are others where we’re the official watch. But some of the European markets like Spain are becoming very difficult, economically. Honestly, our main focus now is on golf in America.”
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