The arrival of the Scottish Open Golf at Castle Stuart , between the 7th and 10th of July holds the potential to be a massive boost to the area. Apart from the obvious direct benefit to businesses from the spectators attending the event , the television audience is being quoted as being in excess of 450 million and that sort of exposure is beyond even the wildest dreams of anyone attempting to get our area brought to the attention of portential tourists from both home and abroad.
A business breifing has been produced to give some guidance on the event -
Barclays Scottish Open – Castle Stuart golf links
7th to 10th July 2010
The Barclays Scottish Open has a new home at Castle Stuart golf links, Inverness. Castle Stuart will be the seventh Scottish course to host the tournament succeeding Loch Lomond Golf Club, which has staged the event for the last 15 years. With a prize fund of £3,000,000, a first prize of £500,000 the Scottish Open is one of the key events on the European tour. A three year agreement to host the event has been signed but this could be extended to four years or reduced to two depending on the initial success of the event.
The Scottish Open regularly attracts a number of the tour’s top golfers and 2011 is likely to be no exception – indeed with the 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's in Kent taking place the following week the field is likely to be stronger than normal as top players take advantage of a links course competition to prepare for the British Open. Players who have already confirmed include Padraig Harrington, reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson, US Open champion Graeme McDowell, defending champion Edoardo Molinari and top Scots Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird
The event commences with a Pro-am event – one of only two occasions on the European tour that corporate clients can play alongside top professionals. This is followed by practice day on Wednesday 6th July and championship rounds from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th July. Estimates of spectator numbers during this period vary, not least because turnout is influenced by the weather at the time, however 30-40,000 are expected and there is the potential for many more if conditions are good.
Visitors to the event and the area will be a mix of:
- Players, sponsors, exhibitors, media and support staff who are involved in the full event and in some cases are here longer to prepare for the event and / or wind down after it.
- Spectators who come for the full event or who may attend some of the event as part of a wider trip to the area.
- Spectators on day visits from the Highlands or adjacent areas.
- Corporate clients being entertained by sponsors.
- Partners, family and friends who accompany spectators but do not attend the event instead visiting the areas other attractions, shopping etc.
Benefits to the area
Hosting the Barclays Scottish Open is expected to bring a number of benefits to the area:
- An immediate economic benefit from spend by those attending the event and those who travel with them and use local facilities and services away from the event.
- Raising the profile of the area as a golf destination.
- Media coverage that will include:
- Live coverage on Sky Sports for Thursday & Friday and BBC at the weekend.
- A total household reach of 450,792,139.
- 1142.32 total of broadcasting hours from 46 worldwide broadcasters.
- Introducing over 80 of Barclays’ top clients (including potential investors) to what the Highlands has to offer.
What can businesses do / offer
- Promote the event to their existing customers who may be unaware that the event is coming here and could be encouraged to stay longer.
- Ensure each member of staff is fully briefed on the event and its importance to the area.
- Get behind the event to ensure visitors receive a top quality welcome - not just in their business but also in the area as a whole – for example through welcome messages / banners, window displays.
- Collaborate with other businesses to ensure the experience is enhanced wherever possible including cross selling to keep visitors here longer
- Consider varying opening / service hours e.g.
- Offering early breakfasts (tee off times start from 7am)
- Serving later evening meals (competition doesn’t finish until early evening)
- Offering entertainment on different nights, not just at the weekend
- Consider offering added value where possible – our future ability to attract the event will depend on demonstrating good value as well as on the quality of the experience.
Useful contact details
Scottish Open website - http://scottishopen.barclaysgolf.com
Tickets – available online at http://scottishopen.barclaysgolf.com/purchase-tickets or ticket hotline 0800 023 2557
Sign up for e-updates - http://scottishopen.barclaysgolf.com/tournament/email-signup.html
Accommodation – information / bookings through www.visitscotland.com or 03303 030 157