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PGA Tour event provides $17m economic boost

Return on investment: David Burt, the Premier, presents the winner’s trophy to Séamus Power, of Ireland. The 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship is said to have generated a total economic impact of $17 million (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Golfers and fans of the sport helped to generate a total economic impact of $17 million from the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last year, an assessment of the event found.

A report by KPMG Advisory Ltd said the sum comprised an estimated direct boost of $7.2 million as well as an additional $9.8 million through indirect and induced effects.

The findings, prepared for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, showed that the total economic impact was $5.1 million more than that calculated for the 2021 event.

A statement from the BTA said: “The overall impact is comprised of incremental on-island spending of $7.2 million which then permeates into the economy, through value-chain spending [indirect effects] of $3.3 million, and further rounds of spending [induced effects] of $6.5 million, which generated total economic impact of $17 million.”

The report explained that the first round of spending was made up of payments from buyers to sellers, or the demand created by the final consumer.

In turn, this created demand upstream such as when restaurant owners engage with their food suppliers and so on. This was the indirect impact.

The report said induced impacts “arise as a direct result of additional rounds of spending by agents involved in a transaction”.

It added: “For instance, hotels and restaurants pay wages to their employees. The extent to which such wages are reinjected in the economy depends on the employees’ own propensity to consume.

“The more employees spend, the greater is the ripple effect in the economy.”

In its statement, the BTA said that a combination of economic impact and media exposure resulted in a 609 per cent return on investment.

It added: “The championship hosted 132 golfers with 631 volunteers assisting during the event.

“Approximately 3.7 million viewers from 218 countries and territories tuned into the 56 hours of coverage on The Golf Channel and 387 hours of live global broadcast coverage, which resulted in $7.6m tangible value of media coverage and $1.6m intangible value of media coverage [$9.2m total benefit].

“The tournament generated 3.14 million web visits and 1.62 million app visits.

“Additionally, there were high levels of engagement on social media, with multiple posts trending on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from a series of high-profile media influencers.

“Attendance over the four days of the championship was estimated at 2,499 individual attendees with 14 per cent of the spectators being overseas visitors with the remaining 86 per cent being Bermuda residents.”

Legacy and community benefits included $1 million in charitable giving, as well as the participation of Bermudian businesses and golfers at the event.

The BTA said: “Unlike the two prior championships, travel protocols were eased significantly, alleviating some of the impact the pandemic has had on spectator attendance.

“While the travel authorisation was still required to travel to Bermuda, social-distancing restrictions and capacity limitations were lifted, which contributed to an increase in the number of tourists and spectators visiting Bermuda specifically for the championship.”

The report explained that in 2021 tickets were limited to a maximum of 500 spectators each day, but the restrictions were lifted for last year.

Tracy Berkeley, the BTA chief executive, said: “By all accounts the 2022 championship was a great success.

“Sports events, including golf, have been identified as growth opportunities in the National Tourism Plan and the investment in the championship forms an important part of the sports event market and shoulder-season calendar.

“The long-term impact of hosting the Butterfield Bermuda Championship creates benefits in terms of brand exposure and Bermuda’s ability to host sporting events.

“We are pleased that the tournament has demonstrated an uplift to our economy, contributed to the third sector and elevated our visibility as a golf destination on the world stage.”

Danielle Carrera, the event’s tournament director, said: “As we near the 2023 championship we are excited to continue our upward trend as a stand-alone PGA Tour event on the FedEx Cup fall schedule with a stronger depth of field and a larger footprint on course for stakeholders to enjoy.”

Hazel Clark, the BTA’s director of global business development and partnerships, said: “This pinnacle tournament enables us to display our island’s golf product on a global scale, captivating both golf enthusiasts and holiday-seekers.

“Through various modes, including the valuable involvement of the APGA, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship allows us to showcase Bermuda’s warm hospitality and contributes to our ongoing efforts to diversify our visitor base.”

KPMG Advisory considered the actual spending that took place on the island as a direct result of the event to complete its assessment.

The report said a total of $4.3 million in public funds was spent to host the 2022 championship.

It added: “The investment was comprised of $3.7 million in sponsorship by the BTA and the Government’s contribution of $0.6 million to cover for Port Royal Golf Course’s expenses.”

The 2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship is scheduled to take place from November 9 to 12.

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Published October 30, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated October 30, 2023 at 7:59 am)

PGA Tour event provides $17m economic boost

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