The PGA Tour has purchased a minority stake in the European Tour’s media production company, part of a wider partnership that will let golf’s major men’s tours jointly pursue commercial opportunities.
That includes collaboration on global media rights and potential sponsorships, like gambling deals, which were much less likely when the two tours operated more independently. It also means the two groups could work together on a more global golf schedule, something that’s been discussed for years but never fully accomplished.
“This partnership is an historic moment for the game of golf and is a fantastic opportunity for both the European Tour and the PGA Tour to explore ways to come together at the very pinnacle of our sport and work in unison for the benefit of the men’s professional game,” European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said in a statement.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will take a European Tour board seat as part of the alliance. Details of the PGA Tour’s new stake in European Tour Properties, the media production company owned by its European counterpart, were not disclosed.
As it is right now, the two tours often compete to attract the best men’s golfers in the world. Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, for example, generally plays a handful of tournaments on both circuits in a given year.
The alliance comes at the end of a tumultuous year for both tours, which had their schedules upended by the pandemic.
The partnership may have ramifications for the Premier Golf League, which has spent more than a year trying to lure the world’s best players for its new, global circuit. Pelley told the Associated Press that after hearing a “compelling offer” from the Premier Golf League on a different type of deal, the European Tour believed a partnership with the PGA Tour was its best option.