Three ways brands integrate experiential marketing in golf

Three ways brands integrate experiential marketing in golf

Written By: Hannah Breeding

A floating green on the Chicago River for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a one-stop Smoothie Shoppe at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Whoever would’ve thought? As experiential marketing becomes more and more prevalent with the millennial demographic, title sponsors across all industries are required to get more creative with event marketing and activations to engage consumers. Studies show that 72 percent of millennials are more willing to spend money on experiences than material goods, which has opened doors for creativity in sports marketing and public relations (Harris Group Study) And, the golf industry is no different.

The PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions organizations have embraced these tendencies in a way that respects the game of golf while appealing to a wider and younger demographic through the integration of unique experiences. KemperLesnik’s long-standing relationship with the game of golf has provided the opportunity to lead and grow with the industry. Here’s how the industry’s doing it:

  1. Tailored Sponsorships and Activations- Companies from just about every industry have a stake in sponsorships at major sporting events. Title sponsors are not only participating in TOUR events to use the platform for brand awareness, but also to engage locally to foster personal connections that create memories. For instance, the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf Pro-Am event has attendees partake in fishing and hunting at Big Cedar Lodge to showcase the breadth and beauty of the Ozark region. By doing so, the title sponsor Bass Pro Shops cultivates memories with the brand that further the company values of family and spending time outdoors.
  2. Foster the FOMO– The fear of missing out (aka FOMO) is a driving factor for many choices made by millennials. By creating unexpected experiences, the PGA of America is appealing to the younger demographic that might not normally buy a ticket to a golf event. The method of fostering the FOMO was utilized to promote the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by placing a floating green on the Chicago River and engaging celebrities and defending champ Danielle Kang to show their skills across this major water feature. The fact that this was the first floating green to be placed on the river combined with the integration of former champion and social influencers instilled the idea that the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was not something to miss. And, brings us to our next point.
  3. Integrating Influencers- What’s the easiest way to get your brand in front of millennials? Authentic social influencers. Every industry has them, but for golf, they can range from past and present players to on-air personalities and trick shot artists. For brands in the golf industry, authentic social influencers are a tool to break through the clutter and be face-to-face with the consumer.

Whether it’s the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship mobile Smoothie Shoppe or the first floating green on the Chicago River for the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship, golf is appealing to millennials through experiential marketing to create memories for avid and novice golfers alike. There’s no better time for brands to utilize the sport of golf for consumer activation and experiential marketing.