In April 2020 The R&A had to make the difficult decision to cancel The Open for the first time since World War II.
With that, they quickly embarked on an ambitious project to mark Open week in 2020 with the aim of delivering a highly entertaining and innovative golf broadcast.
It started as a question. “Could we take the greatest Champions from the last 50 years and create a Championship that saw them battle it out for the Claret Jug?” From that The Open for the Ages was born.
To explore what was possible, The R&A engaged with IMG Productions, mixing footage and audio from five decades of archives and plotting out possible narratives.
The Open always has a winner: The R&A wanted that decision to belong to the fans, so combined a fan vote with historical player data to inform who would be victorious.
The project was complex from start to finish. Hundreds of hours of research, a thousand hours of editing, multiple digital enhancements – including changing branding and removing players and golf balls from key scenes – and all done remotely.
The result was a three-hour final round “live” broadcast which was shown in more than 50 countries and available on TheOpen.com and The Open’s YouTube and Facebook channels. The programme was watched by 2 million people and was complemented with an extensive second-screen experience including a bespoke branded app, social media coverage with ‘in-play clips’, live leaderboard and highlights shows in the preceding days to build narrative and anticipation.
The programme aired on 19 July 2020 – what would have been Championship Sunday of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s. It was greeted with wide acclaim from fans, industry colleagues and the golf world alike.
LEADERSWEEK.DIRECT/ / 5-8 October 2020
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