All roads lead to Rome: impacts and legacy of the 2023 Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup trophy makes a stop at SDA Bocconi to evoke the values of the most watched golf competition in the world.

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“All roads lead to Rome: impacts and legacy of the 2023 Ryder Cup” was the title of the conference held at SDA Bocconi School of Management, an event organized by the Topic Sport of the Bocconi Alumni Community, the Italian Golf Federation and Ryder Cup Europe alongside the Academic Team of the Executive Master in Business of Events (EMBE) at SDA Bocconi. Stefano Caselli, Dean of SDA Bocconi School of Management; Dino Ruta, Professor of Sports and Events Business at SDA Bocconi School of Management and EMBE Academic Director; and Frank Leenders, Leader of Topic Sport, hosted the event, opening it in the beautiful setting of the new campus. It was an opportunity to bring together experts from the sports industry (and beyond), to discover the managerial intricacies of the prestigious golf tournament. Participants could admire and photograph the trophy, which made a stop at SDA Bocconi specifically for the occasion.

 

In 2015, Rome won the bid to host the Ryder Cup, the third most-watched sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. For the third time, the prestigious golf tournament held every two years – once in Europe and once in the U.S.A. – will be played outside Great Britain for the European edition. Marco Simone Golf & Country Club will carry the honor and burden of this event and has embarked on a profound transformation project, becoming one of Italy's most beautiful golf courses.

 

"The Federation, led by President Franco Chimenti, who had the winning intuition to nominate our nation to host the third largest media event in the world, has undertaken multiple initiatives that will undoubtedly enrich Rome and the whole of Italy, its target community and the entire golf ecosystem, especially after the event," said Gian Paolo Montali, Director General of the Ryder Cup 2023 Project. "100 international tournaments played in our country, "Project Golf at School," "Project Golf is Women," "Project Golf4Autism," "Road to Rome 2023" and many other initiatives were presented in the solid and innovative bid presented in 2015 and later implemented, to ensure a true multidimensional legacy."

There will be many economic, infrastructural, sports, tourism and made in Italy impacts, creating a true legacy that the event will leave on multiple stakeholders.

 

"Sports events must leave something behind that changes the place, and this was the reason we won the bid. Despite not being a country with a golfing reputation, we were able to interpret the Ryder Cup project as a unique opportunity to create value for the whole of Italy, from north to south," Gian Paolo Montali continued.

 

The event gave ample space to Italian golf legend Costantino Rocca, who has three Ryder Cup appearances to his name (1993, 1995 and 1997), with a victory in the last two and a decisive personal victory over Tiger Woods in 1997. "The Ryder Cup comes to Italy at the right time and has the potential to cultivate a new sports generation inspired by today's champions," he said.

Other input came from James White (Ryder Cup Country Manager Italy), Maria Elena Rossi (Marketing and Promotion Director at ENIT) and Mirco Vassallo (Director Global Direct Sales at Costa Crociere). They delved into the impacts of the Ryder Cup from different perspectives: media rights, tourism and commercial partnerships.

 

Against this background, Prof. Dino Ruta, Academic Director of EMBE, emphasized the managerial complexity of the Ryder Cup. "Events have increasingly broad and diverse impacts, increasingly becoming an integral part of the political agenda of countries and international organizations. As the industry grows, it is now a common practice for organizers to measure impacts, not just economic ones, to demonstrate how their events have generated value for multiple stakeholders."

 

"There is a need for skill development in the business of events in order to understand the dynamics of such a fascinating and complex industry, which intertwines sports, entertainment and exhibitions in an increasingly international perspective, said Roya Derakhshan, Program Director of EMBE.

 

"Event education responds to an ever-increasing demand for managerial and entrepreneurial professionalism, providing perspectives on different markets: from sports to entertainment, music to exhibitions, spreading an all-round event culture," Prof. Ruta said.

 

At the conclusion of the event, thinking about the sports side of the Ryder Cup, several predictions were made, the most convincing being that of Costantino Rocca. When asked who will win the Ryder Cup 2023, he answered, "Rome of course!" proving that all roads lead to Rome and that the legacy of the event will go far beyond sports competition.

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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