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Asian Tour in 12-year deal with IMG

MUMBAI: The Asian Tour and IMG Media, a division of global sports and media company IMG Worldwide, will join forces in an initial 12-year agreement designed to propel professional golf in Asia to greater heights.


This partnership follows on from the success of IMG’s global representation of the Asian Tour’s media rights since January, 2009, which has resulted in worldwide distribution of the Asian Tour’s television packages to over 40 countries and 400 million homes.


The Asian Tour-IMG joint venture will emulate the foundation behind the success of European Tour Productions - a joint venture between IMG Media and the European Tour – which will inevitably fast track the live broadcast of all Asian Tour events through the combined resources of both organizations. 
 
The new JV company will manage all television production and global distribution, enhancing tour-wide sponsorship agreements for the Asian Tour beginning from January, 2011. This will ultimately benefit partners, sponsors and key stakeholders in the burgeoning area of Asian golf.


The parties state that an expanded Asian Tour Schedule from 2011 will also greatly benefit from consistent, high quality pictures being delivered to its broadcast partners using the latest HD and future 3D broadcast technology via television, broadband and mobile. 
 
Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said, “This is a milestone development for the Asian Tour. We remain fully committed to establishing playing opportunities and increasing prize funds for our elite players in Asia, and a solid television platform will help the Asian Tour to achieve these goals. Given the strength of this landmark announcement, the Asian Tour is committed to staging a minimum of four new tournaments in 2011."


Key to the Asian Tour’s strengthening of its existing partnership with IMG is the latter’s proven track record in representing major golf events over the last 40 years including The Open Championship, US Open Championship, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and World Golf Championships. IMG also has invaluable Tour experience with the LPGA and European Tour.
 
 
IMG Media president Michel Masquelier said, “IMG Media hopes this new joint venture with the Asian Tour will mirror the success of European Tour Productions (ETP), the joint venture between IMG Media and the European Tour, formed in 1992. ETP is now the largest producer of golf programming in the world, with more than 700 hours of original programming per year. ETP also successfully delivered the largest single event Outside Broadcast ever attempted at the recent Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.


“It is clear that Asia is on the verge of an explosion in interest in both amateur and professional golf. Asian Tour event promoters, partners and sponsors will benefit from IMG Media’s turnkey solution - delivering high production values and consistent commercial presentation though it’s experienced and specialised golf production team to a worldwide audience via its unrivalled global sales force."

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