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Tiger Woods boost to economy

The presence of world number one Tiger Woods in Britain and Ireland over the next three weeks could boost the golf economy by 170 million pounds ($317 million), according to research.

Woods arrives on Tuesday to compete in this week's World Match Play Championship at Wentworth. He then travels to Ireland for the Ryder Cup before rounding off his trip by playing in the WGC-American Express Championship at the Grove, Hertfordshire.

He will attract tens of thousands of extra fans, boost media coverage by at least 25 percent, generate millions of pounds through tourism, hospitality and sponsorship and drive people to try golf for themselves and join clubs, according to research carried out for the sponsors of the World Match Play.

Professor Tom Cannon, Dean of Business at the University of Buckingham and an expert in sports business and finance, said: "The size and reach of the Tiger economy is remarkable. We estimate the total value on the core golf economy to be as high as 170 million pounds.

"Drawing these figures together gives an astonishing picture not only of the impact of a single, outstanding sportsman but of the growing power and influence of sport and sporting celebrity."

Woods, back at the World Match Play for the first time since 1998, has helped generate a 60 percent increase in advance ticket sales for the event starting on Thursday.

The tournament is likely to break its 42-year attendance record after selling an unprecedented number of advance tickets.

The 30-year-old American's participation in the three events is expected to encourage an additional 60,000 spectators, generating an extra 4.2 million pounds in ticket sales and related visitor costs such as car parking.

Sponsorship and hospitality could provide an additional 3.6 million pounds, including 500,000 pounds in advertising spend, with an extra 500,000 pounds in travel and accommodation.

Estimates suggest Woods could inspire 700,000 club members and occasional players to play an extra round of golf, bolstering green fees by 14 million pounds.

The 'Tiger Effect' may also generate an additional 27.5 million pounds in sales of equipment and clothing.

Television and radio coverage of the three tournaments is likely to be worth 52 million pounds and the anticipated value of media coverage is 36 million pounds.

Woods, the British Open and U.S. PGA champion, will be looking to extend his spectacular winning streak to six tournaments when he competes at Wentworth.

September 11, 2006


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