How will Rolex make the 151st Open Championship memorable & exciting?

By: July 10, 2023

Here, at the beginning, I will quickly summarize for you what you need to know about the 151st Open Championship. This year, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, on the north-west coast of England, hosts the 151st edition from 20–23 July.

Since 1869 Royal Liverpool Golf Club is one of the oldest and most fitting venues, having hosted the championship on 12 previous occasions. Rolex has been a loyal sponsor of The Open since 1981.

In 1981, Rolex became the Official Timekeeper of The Open, and the brand’s clocks appeared on a championship golf course for the first time at that year’s edition, played at Royal St George’s. 

The 151th Open Championship by Rolex

Rolex’s relationship with The R&A – organizers of The Open – marked a key moment in the brand’s burgeoning partnership with the sport that extended to the AIG Women’s British Open.

The forging of these early relationships showcased the brand’s commitment to the game.

Fan experience & engagement

Since memorable experiences can drive fan loyalty and boost revenues, I thought to share with you a fascinating solution from Vodafone. The company has just tested its solution at Wimbledon.

Vodafone is trialing new 5G-powered GiveVision headsets on Centre Court and No. 1 Court at The Championships that let visually impaired fans watch live tennis like never before, the first time this 5G technology has ever been used in tennis.

Live footage is streamed from local TV cameras over Vodafone 5G to the GiveVision headsets. By using 5G, fans can be fully immersed in the action, as they can watch the match live from anywhere in the stands.

rolex-and-sports-golf-the-open-collin-morikawa in 2021

Previously, sports fans using headsets could watch the live broadcast feed. But they would need to stay within 10-20m of a transmitter box in a pre-determined ‘accessibility’ area, with each box only able to support a limited number of headsets.

When gazing at the towering stands surrounding the golf course, I can’t help but ponder how this solution would elevate events like the upcoming 151st Open Championship. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Capgemini Research Institute says

  • if fans enjoy their tech experience, a majority (56%) of fans would attend more matches, while 92% would spend more on online subscriptions.
  • Nearly 70% say emerging technologies have enhanced their overall viewing experience inside and outside the stadium.
Rolex and The Open Championship 2017
USGA ShotCast Powered by Cisco – a good golf example

The USGA ShotCast Powered by Cisco allows fans to follow the action from both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open with 3D hole imagery and real-time radar data.

USGA ShotCast will also archive every televised golf shot from both Championships and make them available to view digitally in near real-time – a first in the women’s game. 

Have you observed any cutting-edge technological advancements at golf tournaments that could enhance fan participation and experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section.