IMG helps Skyscanner engage with women’s sport and tourism as Solheim Cup pairing announced

Global travel leader Skyscanner, is announced as the new Travel Technology Partner of the Solheim Cup for the 2024 edition at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, USA, and the 2026 European match at Bernardus Golf in the Netherlands.   

The multi-year sponsorship deal is the first of its kind undertaken by Skyscanner as the travel marketplace aims to increase its brand awareness with travellers in the some of the fastest growing segments in sport and sport tourism. 

According to recent research by Deloitte, revenue generated by women’s elite sports will surpass US$1 billion for the first time in 2024, up 300% since 2021 and with global competitions expected to contribute US$425 million (33%) of the forecast total. Similarly, according to UNWTO, sports tourism generates around 10% of the world’s expenditure on tourism and has an estimated growth rate of 17.5% between 2023-2030. And in the UK, the latest research by the Women’s Sport Trust shows a record 46.7m viewers in Britain tuned in to watch women’s sport on pay TV in 2023, eclipsing 2019 figures, with the final day of the Solheim Cup the most-watched women’s sport event. 

Skyscanner analysis of travel booking habits shows that women are responsible for booking vacations in nearly two thirds of households in markets such as Canada (55%), France (56%), Germany (60%), Spain (53%), Singapore (53%), USA (58%) and UK (59%).* 

With more than 110 million monthly users across Skyscanner’s platforms worldwide searching for the best deals on flights, hotels and car hire, this is a significant partnership for both the Solheim Cup and women’s golf. It brings a foremost consumer brand into women’s golf, having been attracted by the profile, demographic and brand values offered by the Solheim Cup and women’s professional golf. 

The partnership will explore the deep relationship between golf and travel and Skyscanner will use this platform to empower golf fans to maximise their time and money when travelling for the love of the game. The travel leader also hopes to harness stories from behind the scenes at the Solheim Cup and uncover inspiring and entertaining tales of the travel undertaken by professional athletes and golf enthusiasts in pursuit of the perfect round.  

Sonja Balcer, Director of Affiliate and Performance Partnerships at Skyscanner, commented, “The Solheim Cup is an incredible, world-renowned sporting event and we’re looking forward to playing our part in what will no doubt be an amazing contest. It delivers on both our desire to build our brand presence at the intersection of women’s elite sports and sports tourism, as well as partnering with a global event that strongly aligns with our vision and values. Despite living and working in the UK for the past several years, I’m originally from the States, so will be personally rooting for the U.S. Team all the way!” 

IMG were appointed as the management partner of the European Solheim Cup for an initial commitment through to the end of 2038, having delivered the most successful European Solheim Cup to date at Gleneagles in 2019 in partnership with Visit Scotland. 

 Grant Slack, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Golf Events, IMG added, “This is an important partnership for women’s golf and the Solheim Cup. Our goal when we went to market was to attract significant global consumer brands and for Skyscanner to make their first major sponsorship in the women’s game, is testament to the growing appeal of the Solheim Cup, which is one of the most exciting sporting contests of the year. With a substantial international fanbase, Skyscanner is the ideal partner to support and enhance the travel experience for the teams, fans and officials, and we are extremely excited to have them as the latest addition to the Solheim Cup family of partners.” 

 Alexandra Armas, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, commented: “The Solheim Cup is an international celebration of excellence, teamwork, and pride. We are thrilled to welcome Skyscanner to our esteemed list of Global Partners for the 2024 and 2026 editions in the United States and Europe respectively. Skyscanner’s commitment to helping shape a more responsible future for travel in collaboration with partners aligns perfectly with our vision and values. Through the support of Skyscanner, the teams and supporters will be able to maximise their time and money when travelling to enjoy world class golf competition and enhanced fan experiences. We are looking forward to further elevating this great competition for our passionate players, partners, and fans.” 

The agreement with Skyscanner was supported by Women’s Sports Media, a specialist sports marketing agency based in the UK focussing exclusively on Women’s sports media platforms.  

The 2024 Solheim Cup will be held at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, USA, on Sept. 10-15. Following the completion of play, the baton will officially be passed to Bernardus.  

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