What are the interests of Rolex in the Evian Championship sponsorship?

By: July 25, 2019

I hope you will follow the 25th Evian Championship (25-29 July 2019) that kicks off today. Its overall prize is now $4,100,000.

While we are cheering for our favorite female tour player (e.g. Lydia Ko), we should also think about the importance and effects of sponsoring a women’s golf tournament at this level.

Rolex has developed one of the most enduring relationships between a brand and golf:

Evian Championship with Rolex as the main sponsor

Such sponsorship has got a huge effect on future women golf participation, but also on keeping alive an elite women’s golf tournament.

Director of The Evian Championship, Jacques Bungert, said

The original idea of the Evian Championship in 1994 was to showcase of women’s golf in France.

Women’s wealth & The Evian Championship sponsorship

In March 2018, there was an interesting article in The Economist about the growing wealth of women.

Based on the findings of a Boston Consulting Group study, they said, by 2020 women are expected to hold $72trn, 32% of the total private wealth.

On Forbes’ TOP 100 list, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (L’Oreal) was the highest-ranked woman (#15).

Another interesting fact to consider. The Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts about 53 percent of UK millionaires will be female by 2025.

Evian Championship 2019 with Rolex

Thus, the sponsorship of the Evian Championship seems like a win-win situation for the rights holder & Rolex.

Such sponsorship can be really lucrative for brands if the rights holders:

  • Have deep, data-driven knowledge of their fanbase.
  • Help partners produce standout content.
  • Understand brands’ marketing strategies.
  • Are flexible to the needs of the marketers.
  • It can be proved that it is a sustainable golf tournament.

In an LG (is also a major sponsor) press release, I found that the Evian Championship attracted in 2018 over 24 million viewers from 170 different countries.

The global golf’s media rights were worth $1.2bn (€1.05bn) in 2018 and accounts for 2.5 percent of the global sports rights market.

It would really useful if rights holders, organizers could tell not just the number of viewers and their countries, but also who they are (e.g. lifestyle, needs, desires, motivations, etc.).

Such insights can help to customize their sponsorship activity as per the participants and viewers.

The importance of Storytelling

Last, but not least, Rolex should invest much more in storytelling about its sponsorship of The Evian Championship to have a higher ROI.

People love great stories. This is one of the reasons why tabloid, gossip magazines are so popular.

If Rolex wants to generate more than just attention for its brand, then he should come up with many more exciting stories to share with people.

17 videos on its YouTube channel is not enough. My overall impression is that the organizers of the Evian Championship are not exploiting sufficiently the social media. Soon I give you some figures.

I would love to see how they cooperate with influencers who can help them to generate buzz around the event.

This is what I found on social media about the Evian Championship after a few minutes of searching:

  • The official YouTube channel of the Evian Championship has got only 568 subscribers/followers.
  • On Instagram for #evianchampionship hashtag, I found only 3048 photos.
  • On Facebook for #evianchampionship hashtag, I found only 20 posts.

These are just a few examples. I really hope that my figures are not true…