Richard Bunn has been at the forefront of golf media production in a career spanning over two decades. As well as showcasing the world-class action on the golf course and ensuring it is beamed into as many households around the world as possible, his role sees him at the helm of ETP’s award winning digital content team.
The Middle East has witnessed some of the Tour’s most iconic golfing performances over the years from Seve, Monty and Tiger to, more recently, Rory, Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick, but it has also been where some of our most memorable content has come to life.
From 2016’s Mannequin Challenge at the DP World Tour Championship, to Billy’s Little Interviews and the Content Committee, some of our most successful pieces of original content outside the ropes have been filmed ‘on location’ in this region.
Our latest addition to the Middle East’s showreel, #GolfPsycho, was shot at our first Rolex Series event of 2023, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, on Yas Island.
Starring Ryder Cup player Tyrrell Hatton in the lead role, the dark comedy was a parody of the iconic ‘American Psycho’ business card scene and also featured Tommy Fleetwood, Ryan Fox, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre and Thomas Pieters.
In the first weekend alone, it was viewed more than 2million times across our social media platforms, with some terrific feedback and engagement from fans, members of the media, our partners and other players.
As with many of the aforementioned videos, it is a simple idea but one which showcases the unique and diverse personalities of our players. That has been a central tenet of our content strategy over the last eight years and we are incredibly fortunate to have players who have bought into this approach, as well as a wonderfully talented content team to capture and produce it.
Through our content, we have reached new audiences who might not ordinarily have engaged with our sport. We have also attracted new partners and sponsors to golf who have recognised that, as a sport, we are in the entertainment industry.
Netflix’s new golf documentary, Full Swing, which features some of our members, including US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy, our 2022 DP World Tour Number One, will unquestionably bring further new fans to golf, giving further insight into the players and the storylines behind our sport.
Of course, golf – the action which takes place inside the ropes – will always be our primary source of entertainment, and we have already seen, there has been plenty of drama and excitement from the fairways already this calendar year, all covered expertly by our onsite team of more than 100 production crew which delivers our live world feed broadcast each day to more than 200 countries globally.
The Hero Cup, played at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, was a new addition to our Middle East swing this year and provided some magnificent match play to kick off 2023, whetting the appetite for golf’s greatest team contest, the Ryder Cup, which takes place in Rome in September.
The Ryder Cup, along with DP World Tour and PGA TOUR events in 2023 and 2024, will be broadcast in the Middle East region via Evision’s 24/7 Golf Life Channel, as part of our new MENA rights agreement with UAE-based e&.
It means fans, both new and existing, in the region will be able to watch all the action from DP World Tour events around the world and see more drama such as the fantastic finale to our Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, when France’s Victor Perez secured his first Rolex Series title helped, in no small part, by an incredible bunker shot on the 17th hole in his final round.
That was an early contender for shot of the year and, like all great pieces of content, it is one which will be played over and over again in years to come.