02 Mar 2024

Voice of the Tour: Fleetwood hole-in-one video broke records for us

By Richard Bunn, Managing Director, European Tour Productions

Dubai’s skyline is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable and iconic of all the cities in the world.

It has featured in big screen blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible and Star Trek, and of course it is ubiquitous in the DP World Tour’s worldwide broadcast, particularly during the Hero Dubai Desert Classic when it provides a spectacular backdrop to the action at Emirates Golf Club.

Earlier this month, the DP World Tour’s content team teamed up with content creator and YouTube sensation Brandon B for a unique collaboration that showcased the famous vista in an entirely different way.

Our creative concept, devised by the Tour’s Head of Original and Branded Content George Cryer and Creative Content Director Pat Burch-Lovell, featured Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood making a hole-in-one from a cargo plane over the skies of Dubai. It was filmed from the perspective of a sky diver, who parachuted from 30,000ft to follow Tommy’s shot into the hole at Dubai Creek Resort.

After just one week, the video had been viewed more than 58 million times across our platforms, surpassing the 57,900,000 views for our previous best performing piece of content, the Guiness World Record for the ‘Farthest Golf Shot Caught in a Moving Car’ featuring Tour winner Marcus Armitage in 2021.

It also set a new record for us on Instagram, with more than 1,375,000 likes on that platform alone, nearly four times the amount of our previous best performing single post.

During the first 24 hours, the video was trending at more than one million views per hour, and has since continued to capture the imagination of a diverse audience from core golf fans through to Brandon B’s own dedicated following.

The sky dive video was actually the second piece of content we created with Brandon and Tommy. The first, published during the week of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, featured Tommy hitting a shot into a golf simulator, which he then tore a hole into to reveal his shot landing on a real green at Emirates Golf Club. That video was also viewed more than 17 million times on our platforms, and together the two pieces are reflective of our evolving content strategy which aims to cut through what is a very cluttered and competitive digital media landscape.

As a global sport, we are in the entertainment industry and we are constantly looking at what kind of content resonates with fans and audiences across a variety of platforms. This approach enables us to lean into specific trends when there is an opportunity to do so, whilst also keeping our core content themes at the heart of what we do.

Collaborating with Brandon is a perfect example of that. Brandon has more than 11 million followers on YouTube and has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative content creators and CGI experts around.

His unique style of content is different to some of the award-winning content our team has produced in the past, such as Golf Psycho, Angry Golfers and the One Yard Fairway, all of which were also filmed in the UAE. Yet it retains the essence of what we always set out to achieve in our content, namely to showcase the skill and personality of our players and the global destinations our Tour visits.

The sky dive video unquestionably delivers on all fronts, and Tommy, who has starred in several of our viral videos over the years, once again played a huge part in that due to his infectious and relatable charisma.

Interviewed on American TV shortly after the sky dive video had gained traction online, Dubai resident Tommy quipped: “Haters gonna say it’s fake.”

Now, I’ll let you into a little secret. It was. But I would strongly recommend watching our follow up video which shows exactly how Brandon and the team used innovative green screen and CGI technology to pull it off.

Of course, Tommy’s real life repertoire of shots is pretty impressive as well, as he showed by winning the Dubai Invitational, holding off Rory McIlroy down the stretch at Dubai Creek at the start of January.

Both players were, of course, also stars of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy which is documented in Season Two of Full Swing.

That drops on Netflix at the start of March and like our own digital content, it will undoubtedly help golf, the DP World Tour and our players to appeal to new and diverse audiences.

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