The Communications Clinic has been appointed on a two-year contract to provide public relations services to the European Tour for the 2019 and 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
This year’s event will take place at Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare, a world famous links course but one which has never staged the Open.
It will take place from the 4th to the 7th of July and as the second of eight Rolex Series tournaments on the Race to Dubai, will carry a prize fund of US$7 million and witness a host of world-class players travelling to Irish shores.
Paul McGinley has taken over this year as ‘host’ of the tournament. This role was created for Rory McIlroy whose presence, enthusiasm and winning over the event over the past three years has lifted the tournament to a new high.
McIlroy fulfilled the host role for the first time at Royal County Down in 2015. It was the first year of the Dubai Duty Free sponsorship which was a vital factor in securing the future of the event.
In 2014, when it was last staged in Munster, the prize fund was €2 Million. Fota Island’s staging was hailed as a great success and now it will be back to the south, or at least the south-west.
The presence of the Open Championship on Irish soil for the first time in over 60 years would have been thought to have some pressure on attendance but that is completely sold out with over 100,000 tickets shifted. Around 20 per cent of those have been to people living in the Republic so there is plenty of interest still to go around.
McIlroy will not be playing this year which was a blow to the tournament but the proximity to the Open and the desire of players to get their eye in on a links course ahead of the prestigious Major should ensure a world-class field that will, in turn, draw a massive crowd.
We will have to hope it will be a less fraught job for The Communications Clinic than in its last major exposure to the world of sport when managing PR for the Olympic Council of Ireland throughout and in the aftermath of the Rio and Pat Hickey period.
“We are very proud to have been chosen by the European Tour to provide PR support for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019 and 2020,” said Communications Clinic Managing Director Eoghan McDermott.
“We are looking forward to working on this prestigious event and to the busy few months we have ahead. We have been involved with the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open in recent years through our work with its previous host Rory McIlroy and in that time, we have seen the tournament go from strength to strength.”
“We are delighted to be working alongside the team at The Communications Clinic for the next two years as we look to bring the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to new levels of success,” added Championship Director Simon Allis.