As the European Tour reaches its 50th anniversary, new changes will come into effect in 2022. In a landmark moment for the sporting tour, its renowned moniker will be ditched in favour of the DB Tour, ushering a new era of competition with an historic naming rights deal that could potentially be worth millions.
From 2022, the tour will be known as the DP World Tour, with a packed schedule featuring 47 events worth over $200 million. It’s largely thanks to the loyal sponsor of the season-ending event in Dubai, with next year’s edition reaching a staggering $10 million, marking the first time any tour prize fund has hit eight figures. But even the other events boast a lucrative prize fund, with every event sanctioned solely by the tour being worth a minimum $2 million. According to chief executive Keith Pelley, “This deal is so ground-breaking it will enable us to elevate the tour in every way. Easy day to have a smile on your face.”
Pelley said in a statement: “Today’s announcement is undoubtedly a momentous one in the proud history of our Tour. The launch of the DP World Tour in 2022, coinciding with both of our 50th anniversaries, will herald a new era in global golf, and crucially it will benefit everybody involved – all our players, caddies, fans and partners – as well as making an important contribution to wider society.”
He added: “The entire ecosystem of our Tour will be strengthened because of this hugely significant deal, and that was essential to us and to DP World, who have been an incredible supporter of our Tour as well as golf more widely, from grassroots through to the elite professional game. The DP World Tour is, therefore, a natural evolution of our decade-long partnership and the presence of ‘World’ in our new title better reflects our global reach.”
New tournaments in the UAE, Japan, South Africa and Belgium will feature in the 2021-22 schedule, which begins with the Joburg Open from November 25-28. While some who are more traditionally-inclined might bemoan the name change, Pelley stresses that it’s a necessary one. “We’ll have 23 tournaments in Europe and 24 at venues worldwide next year. We’re very much a world tour,” he says.
As many competitions and playing schedules across the world of sport were scrapped entirely as a result of the pandemic, many athletes found themselves in a state of limbo; unsure how to motivate themselves when there was little on the horizon. But for golfers, the sport has resumed with fervour, with tournaments back in full swing. Following the announcement of the DP Tour renaming, golfer Tommy Fleetwood said: “What a time to be a golfer in his 20s,” echoing sentiments that see this new direction for golf a positive one, offering more events across the world.