Populous reinvents fan experience for AIG Women’s Open Golf Tournament

Global superstar Ellie Goulding is set to thrill fans as the headline music act in a concert performance being staged during the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath.

For the very first time, live music will feature as part of a new, enhanced fan experience that aims to attract new and diverse audiences to the championship to enjoy women’s golf at the very highest level.

BRIT Award winner Ellie Goulding will entertain fans on Saturday 12 August following the close of play.

Ellie Goulding said:

I’m honoured to be the first music artist to perform at the AIG Women’s Open. The elevation of women’s sport is something I’m a huge champion of, so I can’t wait to be surrounded by inspiring women in August. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there!

Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said:

We and our valued partners in AIG have been clear that our ambition is to elevate the AIG Women’s Open as a world-class sporting event. We have made important strides in recent years to enhance prize money, championship venues and facilities for the benefit of the world’s best women’s golfers, but we also see the spectator experience as crucial to increasing the appeal of the Championship and encouraging more fans to attend.

Our research shows that fans would like to see live music and entertainment feature as part of their event experience and so we have developed an enhanced offering that aims to attract new and diverse audiences into attending the Championship and supporting women’s golf at the very highest level. We are excited by what we have to offer them and look forward to welcoming fans to Walton Heath this summer.

The AIG Women’s Open will showcase women in sport, business and entertainment with fans attending this year’s Championship set to enjoy world-class golf, live music and entertainment, as well as a new festival fan village designed to generate a fun, vibrant and welcoming atmosphere supported by AIG, Adidas, HSBC UK, Mastercard and NTT DATA.

ALSD International 2023 is being hosted at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, October 9-10. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus of this industry-leading event, with architecture & design, fan experience, hospitality, premium seating sales & service, sustainability and technology taking centre stage.

The elevation of the AIG Women’s Open fan experience and event strategy has been informed by research commissioned by The R&A into the UK golf audience, which highlighted that two-thirds of fans are interested in live music and entertainment at women’s golf championships.

Top: Global superstar Ellie Goulding will headline a concert performance at the AIG Women’s Open on Saturday 12 August. Above: The AIG Women’s Open will feature a new look festival fan village when the championship is played at Walton Heath from 9-13 August.

Enhanced fan experience

Along with the live music performance from Ellie Goulding, fans can expect a new-look festival village, designed in partnership with Populous – a global leader in fan experiences – featuring:

  • Festival village stage, managed by GQ Awards organisers Timebased Productions, featuring panel discussions with leading names from sport, business and entertainment.
  • Golf It! Zone which will feature fun golf activities to introduce fans to the sport.
  • Interactive golf experiences including VR and e-sports.
  • Big screens to watch golf and other leading women’s sport including the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • A new food and beverage offering, which will feature a collective of exciting, passionate and diverse street food traders.

Fans attending the AIG Women’s Open will see the world’s best women’s golfers compete for the prestigious major championship, which has been won by the biggest names in the sport including defending champion Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa, Anna Nordqvist and Annika Sorenstam of Sweden, Georgia Hall of England, Inbee Park of Korea and Karrie Webb of Australia.

The AIG Women’s Open takes place at Walton Heath, Surrey from 9-13 August 2023, and will feature the top-50 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. Current world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand, world number two Nelly Korda and fellow American Lexi Thompson, have already qualified for the Championship.

Tickets to the AIG Women’s Open are now on sale via aigwomensopen.com. Hospitality packages are also on general sale, offering an unrivalled way to experience the Championship in which guests can enjoy over ten hours of world-class action and fully inclusive hospitality. Visit https://www.aigwomensopen.com/tickets-and-hospitality/hospitality/2023/champions-club for further information.

For information on the AIG Women’s Open or to purchase tickets, please visit www.aigwomensopen.com

About the AIG Women’s Open

First established in 1976 and now owned by The R&A, the AIG Women’s Open is one of five Major championships in women’s golf. Each year 144 players compete for the championship trophy with the low amateur, who plays 72 holes, awarded the Smyth Salver.

The AIG Women’s Open will be played at Walton Heath from 9-13 August 2023. Future venues will include St Andrews (2024) and Royal Porthcawl (2025).

The Championship is the showpiece for The R&A’s commitment to growing women and girls’ golf via the Women in Golf Charter. The AIG Women’s Open aims to champion the changing face of women’s golf; to inspire, engage and provoke in order to challenge perceptions that will shape the future of the sport.

The AIG Women’s Open is proudly supported by AIG, HSBC, MasterCard, Mercedes-Benz, Nikon, NTT Data, Rolex, Suntory and Toyo Tires.

Live music entertainment at the AIG Women’s Open is subject to license.

About The R&A

The R&A group of companies was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open, golf’s original championship, and developing the sport. The World Golf Museum in St Andrews is part of The R&A group.

Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 143 countries and with the consent of 158 organisations from amateur and professional golf.

The R&A has responsibility for running a series of world class amateur events and international matches in women’s and girls’ as well as men’s and boys’ golf. The R&A stages the AIG Women’s Open and works with the European Tour to stage the Senior Open presented by Rolex.

The R&A is committed to investing £200 million over ten years in developing golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally, including the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. For more information, visit www.randa.org

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 will take place at Etihad Stadium this October, with venue tours complimenting the high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will also feature a 1-day Tech Symposium, and a 2-day Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.

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