Golf has been the cornerstone of IMG since the legendary Arnold Palmer became IMG's first client in 1960, a moment widely credited as marking the creation of the sports marketing industry. The acquisition of these assets is a natural fit as IMG bring their industry-leading expertise and energy to the already established and respected Golf Business Forum (GBF) and Golf Business Community (GBC). IMG will continue to work with KPMG in an on going partnership in the years ahead on both projects.
The GBC is a platform for individuals within the golf industry who are interested in building and maintaining relationships, along with accessing golf research and golf industry news. The GBF has been running since 2004 and serves as the platform for golf industry professionals to meet, learn and exchange ideas.
Bringing together the entire spectrum of the golf industry, the GBF has been attended by many of the leading names in golf including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sir Nick Faldo, Peter Dawson and George O'Grady . From developers and investors to operators, owners and journalists, the GBF attracts more than 250 delegates from over 40 nationalities. IMG plan to build on the success of the event by widening its global appeal and content whilst continuing to grow the extensive network of professionals focused around the game of golf.
The 2014 Golf Business Forum will take place in Abu Dhabi at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa from 28- 30th April.
Andrea Sartori of KPMG explained, “We believe we have developed a fantastic product that benefits not only KPMG’s business but the whole golf industry. As with everything, we are always looking to improve our offering and we are sure that partnering with the industry leader, IMG, will help bring new life to the event and take both the Forum and Community to new levels.”
Nick Oakley, who will join IMG as part of the transition, said, “I am looking forward to joining IMG to help further develop the Golf Business Forum and continue to grow the Golf Business Community whilst working closely with my former colleagues at KPMG to ensure a smooth handover.”
Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG, who was a key speaker at the 2013 Golf Business Forum at St Andrews, added, “We are delighted to be acquiring both the Golf Business Forum and the Community, and we are excited to work together with KPMG to enhance what is a flagship event in the world of golf. KPMG have developed a fantastic product which we feel we will be able to build and develop using our global resources and experience in the golf industry. “