The PGA Tour has renewed the Butterfield Bermuda Championship for the next three years.

The news comes with memories of the successful 2023 event at the Port Royal Golf Course still fresh. Sensational golf from perhaps the strongest field in the event’s history concluded with Colombian Camilo Villegas winning the cedar trophy and $1.17 million winner’s prize with a record-equalling four-round score of 24 under par.

The Championship is on an upward trajectory, having been upgraded this year to a stand-alone event on the PGA Tour calendar, allowing it to attract higher-ranked players.

Danielle Carrera, tournament director, said: “It was great to see thousands of fans turn out again this year to see world-class golf in Port Royal’s magnificent setting. We had glorious weather for most of the tournament, showcasing Bermuda at its best for millions of TV viewers tuning in around the globe.”

Looking ahead, she added: “Our aim is to strengthen the bond between Butterfield Bermuda Championship and the people of Bermuda, through growing the relationships we have built over the past five years with local businesses, charities, the golfing community and our amazing volunteers and fans.”

Those growing community ties are illustrated by a significant economic impact on the island, which amounted to $17 million in 2022, according to professional services firm KPMG. The breakdown within the KPMG report highlights how the beneficial effects of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship ripple through the community.

The on-island direct spend on the tournament totalled $7.2 million, which generated a further $9.8 million in indirect and induced spending. “Indirect spending” refers to the demand created along the supply chain — for example, a restaurant needing to order extra food from suppliers, who would then in turn buy more from their suppliers. “Induced spending” refers to additional rounds of spending by those involved in event-driven transactions. For example, the restaurant workers who spend their earnings in the local economy.

The report highlighted four principal sources of direct spending:

  • Championship organiser Bruno Sports (renamed Eventive Sports this year): the organising company spent $5 million on hosting the event in areas including hospitality, media operations, transportation, supplies such as furniture, fittings and IT equipment, as well as office and administrative expenses.  This led to an estimated $6.8 million of indirect and induced spending for a total economic contribution of $11.8 million.
  • Overseas golfers and contingents: 132 golfers, accompanied by 413 individuals including corporate supporters, media personnel, TV production crews, caddies and vendors, flew in for the event. This group spent an estimated $1.5 million on island. Multiplier effects generated another $2 million for an estimated total impact of $3.5 million.
  • Bermuda Government: provided the Port Royal Golf Course and a grant of $0.6 million to cover maintenance, repairs, electricity and administrational expenses. Additional incremental spending was $0.8 million, for a total impact of $1.4 million.
  • Overseas spectators: they reported spending $0.1 million, leading to indirect and induced spending of $0.2 million for a total impact of $$0.3 million.

The Butterfield Birdies for Charity programme generated an additional $1.1 million in donations, a significant uptick for the event, which has now produced $2 million in charitable contributions over the past four years.

Another huge benefit for Bermuda was the media exposure, showcasing the island to the world, an aspect of high value to the Bermuda Tourism Authority, which provided $3.7 million in sponsorship to the Championship. The event received 56 hours’ coverage on the Golf Channel, watched by 3.7 million viewers. International distribution reached viewers in 218 countries.

The monetary value of the media exposure was estimated at $9.2 million by Nielsen Sports. This comprised $7.6 million of brand exposure across TV, social media, and other media channels, and $1.6 million of intangible value coming from the association of Bermuda and the PGA Tour.

With the tournament having established strong foundations overs its first five years, hopes are high that it will continue onwards and upwards, to grow in stature and value to the community.

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