Scotland has agreed a unique partnership with global sports, media and events organisation IMG to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, ensuring the country hosts a world-class spectacle and delivers on its key principles of equality, experience and innovation.
Appointed by VisitScotland on behalf of The Scottish Government, IMG will bring its vast expertise and experience to ensure the competition will be one of the best in the tournament’s history.
Announcing the partnership during the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“This partnership brings together two of the world-leading brands within the global golf industry and will allow Scotland to realise the many benefits of hosting one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet.
“IMG’s vast experience in staging major events will ensure that Scotland stages the best-ever Solheim Cup when it visits Gleneagles in 2019 and delivers a spectator experience that is second to none.
“They share our vision of an open and inclusive event and will work alongside us to show that in Scotland golf is a family-orientated game that is open to everyone. We want to use The 2019 Solheim Cup to encourage greater participation among women, young people and families and IMG’s strong track record in the women’s game will help us to achieve this.”
The Solheim Cup is the biggest event in women’s golf, pitting European and US teams against each other in a team format which mirrors that of The Ryder Cup. Scotland was awarded the right to host The 2019 Solheim Cup in October 2015 following a successful bid led by VisitScotland. Responsibility for delivering the event on behalf of The Scottish Government will sit with the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “IMG is one of the most experienced sports events organisations in the world and, having worked with them over the years on various projects, we are confident their professional and innovative approach will help us to deliver the best Solheim Cup to date and one of the best sporting occasions to be hosted in Scotland.
“We are proud to have played a role in enhancing the Ryder Cup brand with the 2014 staging in Scotland and look forward to doing the same with the Solheim Cup through this partnership with IMG.
“After a thorough procurement process, IMG stood head and shoulders above the other candidates in terms of their experience, in-house resources and their standing and experience within the golf industry. They share our key principles in the bid of equality, experience and innovation and we are very much looking forward to working together.”
As a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, IMG operate in more than 30 countries with unrivaled experience in event delivery. IMG’s Golf Division has staged more than 750 golf events and their current portfolio includes over thirty tournaments staged annually around the globe, of which two are women’s Majors. The organisation has previous experience of delivering major golf events in Scotland through their work with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Johnnie Walker Championship over many years.
Guy Kinnings, Global Head of IMG Golf added, “We are delighted to have been chosen to partner with VisitScotland to deliver The 2019 Solheim Cup. It is a fantastic challenge to deliver a Solheim Cup in Scotland following the success of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Our team can’t wait to get started on this exciting project and we look forward wholeheartedly to working with the considerable resources within the Scottish government to ensure that this Solheim Cup delivers in every aspect.”
IMG will engage with the European Tour to benefit from their advice and learnings from the 2014 Ryder Cup, also hosted at Gleneagles.
The event is regarded as the biggest tournament in women’s golf and sees the best female professional golfers in Europe competing against their United States counterparts, attracting a huge worldwide audience and media profile for the host country.
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We welcome the appointment of IMG to partner with Scotland on the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup. We are confident it is in excellent hands and look forward to an event that will continue to enhance the reputation of the women’s game on an international stage and inspire many more women and juniors to get involved in the sport.”