The inaugural PGA TOUR Bermuda Championship in 2019 generated an estimated $22.6 million in value for Bermuda, leading to a 320-percent return on investment, according to a new KPMG economic impact report. The event drove more than 2,000 visitors to the island and racked up almost three-million viewers on television.
The tournament—the first of five annual PGA TOUR events secured by the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) as title sponsor through 2023—was held at Port Royal Golf Course October 31 to November 3, 2019. Broadcast on the Golf Channel and Sky TV, with a field of 120 professionals—including five Bermudians—it carried a purse of $3 million and awarded 300 FedEx Cup points to Brendon Todd, the Bermuda Championship inaugural year champion.
The KPMG study, commissioned by the BTA, analyzed the event’s economic impact, including expenditure on the island by event organizers, sponsors and visitors, as well as capital investments needed to prepare the island for the event. It calculated the event had an estimated direct economic impact of $7.8 million, generating an additional $10.6-million impact on the economy through indirect and induced effect. International media exposure was valued at another $4.2 million.
“As the island’s first PGA TOUR event, the 2019 Bermuda Championship more than delivered as a solid launch to our five-year title sponsorship. On television, the island’s breathtaking beauty and world-class hospitality was abundantly clear to the estimated three-million viewers who tuned in,” said Victoria Isley, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at BTA. “We thank everyone who contributed to the tournament’s successful inaugural year, including our golf and tourism-industry stakeholders in addition to the hundreds of local volunteers. We look forward to the Championship’s long-term promise to Bermuda.”
The KPMG report found total attendance over the four days of the Championship amounted to 10,660 people, a fifth (or 2,132) being overseas visitors, including fans, players, caddies, players’ families, corporate sponsors’ guests, PGA TOUR officials, staff and guests, TV production talent and crew, and vendors. The remaining 80 percent (8,528) of attendees were Bermuda residents.
Local costs totaled $7 million, including the BTA’s title sponsorship, contributions by non-title sponsors. and $2.9 million from the Bermuda Government, which included spending to help run the event and prepare Port Royal Golf Course for the life of the agreement.
“Our first PGA TOUR event, the Bermuda Championship, was a resounding success,” said Minister of Tourism & Transport Zane DeSilva. “The tournament highlighted once again Bermuda’s reputation as a world-class sporting venue, proving our island has the talent and expertise to stage a global event of this magnitude. I’d like to thank all those who made it happen—especially the staff of Port Royal Golf Course, who demonstrated skill, determination, and resilience to complete their work and met the deadline in order for this event to be hosted on the dates originally planned.”
“We appreciate the tremendous support we received during our inaugural Championship in 2019,” said Championship Director Sean Sovacool. “Beyond the golf course, the Bermuda Championship also has a responsibility to give back to our community, and this is something we take very seriously; last year, a total of $225,000 benefitted more than 20 local charities, and we hope to build on that.”
The Championship fulfills the role of a “pinnacle” event for the BTA’s golf strategy, one of four focus sports aligning with the National Tourism Plan. The BTA set its sights on a PGA TOUR partnership because of the significant economic benefits an event of this stature can generate for Bermuda’s economy, as well as the worldwide exposure to an audience aligning strongly with our visitor targets.
The next Bermuda Championship is on the PGA TOUR calendar for October 26th – November 1st, 2020.