In a move the PGA says will "unify the brand and strengthen the alliance between the two organizing bodies," the renowned Ryder Cup is getting an image makeover: a new brand logo.
Resembling a shield or coat of arms, the just-revealed logo carries an interpretation of the U.S. flag on the left and the European flag on the right, surrounding an image of the golden cup that is presented to the tournament winner. "RYDER CUP" is prominently displayed in a banner running horizontally across the shield.
Ryder Cup Europe and The PGA of America collaborated on the logo, which was designed by Interbrand.
David Martin, President of Interbrand New York and leader of its golf practice, said, "We all believed in the power of the brand; that it was time to make the Ryder Cup brand more broadly relevant to more than the passionate golf fan. ...The Ryder Cup is a competition that has longevity, and the consensus of all within the project was that its brand must be powerful to withstand any challenge. The power of the shield is a mark that has a contemporary feel to it."
Ryder Cup Europe Director Richard Hills added, "Consolidating the brand not only reflects that alliance [with The PGA of America] but also our desire to further enhance the global attraction of a competition whose footprint now stretches way beyond followers of golf."
The Ryder Cup is one of the world's most famous sporting events — a golf competition held every two years in which pro teams from the United States and Europe play against each other for a gold trophy named after Englishman Samuel Ryder. Begun in 1927, the 38th edition of The Ryder Cup was held in 2010 at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales, with the 2012 edition scheduled for September 28 - 30th at Medinah (Illinois) Country Club in the United States. The tournament rotates from Europe to the U.S. In the last thirty years, the Ryder Cup competition has remained close. Europe currently leads with an 8-7-1 advantage.
It is not uncommon for sporting events to use branding to distinguish themselves from one another. Major sporting events such as the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the NCAA "Final Four" tournament, adopt brand logos that are related to the year or location in which the event takes place. The Ryder Cup logo, however, seems more timeless in that it references the year the Ryder Cup was established and does not mention a specific location.
While a sporting event logo serves to create an identity for the event, it is also a prime marketing vehicle. Once a logo is developed, it can be licensed for use on a wide variety of merchandise.
Licensing and merchandise sales related to a sporting event, especially one as globally prestigious as The Ryder Cup, can result in a continuing revenue stream that extends far beyond the event alone.