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  • Subject area(s): Hospitality
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  • Published on: 15th October 2019
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This paper will cover many of the key aspects that make the Ryder cup such a sport it is today. First and foremost, an overview into the historical development of the Ryder cup will give an insight on how the Ryder cup competition began. Paying a specific attention to sport event tourism, this essay will also define the type of event and sport tourism market the Ryder cup influences as well as exploring the specific consumer groups for whom the event is most suitable and key trends in demand and supply of sport tourism and events. Underling factors such as the primary/secondary motivations as well as push/pull factors will be discussed in great detail in relation to how these influences have had an effect on the Ryder cup. This essay will show the numerous market opportunities which exist to design services and products to meet customer needs, in relation to travel, accommodation and the actual event experience.

The Ryder Cup, the biggest tournament in golf, is a men’s golf sporting competition and takes place every other year. Twelve teams of professional men from Europe and the United states compete against one another. The first ever Ryder Cup was held in 1972 which was initially between the US and the UK. However, after 1979, the decision was made for Europe to form together with the UK and Ireland against the US for reasons no other than the US dominating the UK and Ireland. This meant that players from different country across the world were now included in the event. The actual event itself doesn’t stay in a particular location, instead the venue alternates its courses in the United States and Europe. Despite the Ryder Cup being a high-profile contest, it is surprising that the players receive no price fund especially how it’s an event that brings in large amounts of money through television and sponsorship revenue.

The Ryder Cup event is a combination of a competitive and promotional event. The high competitiveness between the US and Europe to win the Cup and bring it ‘home’ brings an element of reward. However, it’s the sport in general that benefits most. This is because the Ryder Cup event is not primarily organised for the benefit of the player or participant. The event is organised to promote the sport to the tourist market with the underlying objective to increase participation. In regards to sport tourism market, it is possible to utilise the data from the Ryder Cup 2014_Economic Impact report to comment on the participation profile of ‘Ryder Cup-goers’. There are two distinct groups of Ryder Cup spectators, which are ‘socials’ and ‘enthusiasts’. The average age of the sample was 48.5 years. The vast majority described their ethnic origin as 'white' (98%), with as little as 2% belonging to black and minority ethnic. This is way too limited in terms of ethnicity for a big event like this.

Since the Ryder cup is consumer driven, a change in consumer demand will affect market segmentation. Following the ‘Ryder Cup 2014_Economic Impact report’, the findings appear that the increase in popularity over the years of the Ryder cup was a result of many characteristics. These Influences of the evolving nature of the Ryder cup, indicated by the Ryder cup report are as follows; consumers change over time in terms of have their location, preferences, income and general demographics.

In 2016, Hazeltine National Golf Club hosted the Ryder Cup. Hazeltine National Golf Club is a golf club located in Chaska, Minneapolis, about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. With the 2016 Ryder Cup, Hazeltine will become one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup Matches.

It is recognised that the ryder cup in general is qualitatively different from any other spectator sport, in that there is periods where there is little action. This promotes a much higher than usual degree of social interaction among spectators. This in turn triggers a lot of push & pull factors such as to engage themselves and to meet new people.

The trip decision-making process is not linear, the process does not end when the decision to make the trip has been taken and the necessary purchases to make the trip has been made. Going to the Ryder Cup requires a lot of planning, tourists would have planned the trip in detail after the main elements of the purchase (travel, accommodation ect.) have been made and motivations to engage. Motivations of which can be categorised as primary and secondary. By looking at behavioural segmentation in relation to primary and secondary motivations, spectators would have made plans during their trip. With this mind, one of the primary motivation that may prompted travellers such as golf fans to go to the Ryder Cup is arranging to play golf during the trip at the Ryder Cup. Additionally, another primary motivation could have been to simply to go support their team of choice.

The Ryder cup is a type of event that hosts major a competition, therefore attracts fans globally, whether they are spectators or viewers. However, this event is very unlikely to attract the same publicity and commercialisation as sports events such as the super bowl and Olympics. So, who is the tourist market for the Ryder Cup event?  Although anyone can attend from all over the world, the Ryder Cup is a niche kind of travel that attracts higher spending given the nature of resorts and destinations associated with the sport. Therefore, this event attracts people most preferably that are upper-middle class or middle class that have discretionary income to spend and travel within certain socio economic class groups.

The sport event tourism packages include four stared hotel accommodation gives the tourists somewhere luxury to stay over the duration of the event. Ground transportation is another package included with the Ryder Cup. Each of these are important contributors to the conclusion that the Ryder cup provides a positive impact on society beyond the direct element of the commercial impact of the sport, not just in Scotland but in Europe and beyond.

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