In their own words: Keith Pelley

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire April 2, 2019 20:26

The chief executive of the European Tour explores the rapid growth and growing popularity of the Staysure Tour.

I was asked in an interview the other day what I was most proud of since becoming Chief Executive of the European Tour in August 2015.

Keith Pelley

It is always difficult to single one element out, largely because we have achieved a number of things over the past four years.

The Rolex Series, for example, has been transformational for the European Tour and the way it has entered the sporting vernacular so quickly is a testament to the work of everyone involved.

We have also produced some truly brilliant content which has helped cut through to different audiences to showcase the wonderful characters of our players. And of course no-one who was involved will ever forget The Ryder Cup in France last September. It was simply spectacular.

But I would like to shine the spotlight on an area of our business that sometimes does not get the recognition it deserves – the Staysure Tour.

If you turn the clock back four years, the Senior Tour, as it was then, was on life support. It was meandering in mediocrity with only 11 tournaments on the schedule, it was losing money and generating little interest with potential stakeholders. We had to take a decision; either invest or close it down.

With the full support of the board, we took the decision we were going to rebuild. We invested, we installed David MacLaren as head of the Tour, we were creative with our formats with amateurs playing with the professionals in the tournaments, and we found a wonderful partner in Staysure who believed in our vision.

Gary Wolstenholme on the Staysure Tour in Seychelles last year


This year, the Staysure Tour will have a minimum of 20 tournaments on the schedule in exotic locations like Seychelles, Mauritius and, as of now, a new venue in Tobago. Our Staysure Tour members have also reaped the benefits of the growth with the overall prize fund for the Tour increasing by some 200 per cent.

In real terms it means that, at the end of the 2015 season, only five players earned more than €100,000. At the end of the 2018 season, that number was 24. Look out for that number to be even higher this year.

Related to the above, I will leave you with this thought. The 50+ age demographic has traditionally been one that television advertisers and agencies have not proactively tried to reach. Most companies have sought after the cherished 18 to 34 demographic – but are they missing a trick?

Having been in the media for close to 30 years I have many conversations with agencies and partners about the 50+ demographic being critical going forward, based on changes to wealth management and health improvements affecting how long people are living.

It is an interesting thought, especially if you consider these points: (i) 76 per cent of the UK’s wealth is in the 50+ demographic; (ii) 24.2 million people are over 50 in the UK; (iii) one in five ‘baby boomers’ are millionaires; (iv) there are over 200 million people over 50 in the EU.

To find out more about European Tour events, visit


Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire April 2, 2019 20:26
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