ith the resurgence of Tiger Woods, your business should be thinking green.
Tiger Woods is leading the Farmers Insurance Open. With post affair Tiger, it’s impossible to be certain that this lead is going to hold up, but at Torrey Pines, it’s a fair bet. Betting lines for The Masters just slid from Tiger +650 to Tiger +500. Tickets for ALL championship days at the US Open are sold out.
What does Mr. Wood’s return to dominance mean for your business? At the outset of the 2013 PGA Tour, it means that it’s a fair bet your clients who are casual fans of golf will soon become stark, raving lunatics for the game. It’s convenient that Tiger’s fluke layoff period happened during a financial recession, but the economy is rebounding, and the GREATEST GOLFER TO EVER PLAY THE GAME is on his way back. It’s time to start allocating a portion of your marketing budget to corporate hospitality tents.
Don’t know where to begin? I don’t either, but I’m pretty good with online research, and I have enough golf connections to throw together a quick guide to sponsorship opportunities still available at this year’s majors. Let’s get started:
As you would imagine, there’s no information relating to the costs of corporate sponsorship at The Masters. You already knew that unless you have connections at Augusta National, a billion dollars, an insane stroke of luck, and some dirt on the world’s most powerful people, pitching a hospitality tent at in Augusta is going to be IMPOSSIBLE. Still, taking a look at The Masters Website got me really excited for the first full week in April. Check it out…
The US Open:
This year, the United States Golf Association is offering a literal plethora of corporate sponsorship opportunities for the most egalitarian/most important golf tournament in the Americas. Available options for 2013 range from $15,000 for a fairway table for 15, to $150,000 for a tent that holds 50. Here, no food is included, so you’ll have to work out your own catering deal with the USGA.
That sounds reasonable, and it is, but you have to keep in mind that the USGA has a lot of interest in these tents, and I believe that the deposit you send along with your letter of intent is nonrefundable.
Nothing is guaranteed.
But, a tent or a table at the open is going to be a huge draw to prospects. Philadelphia is a great city, and there’s a lot of history at Merion. Budget $200,000 for food, beverage, and a 50 person tent.
If your marketing or event planning team chooses this option, keep a worst case scenario in mind. At the US Open, you could wave goodbye to $25,000 when the USGA chooses a corporate partner that they view as a better fit.
The Open Championship:
According to this brochure, a tent can be had at Muirfield Golf Links this July for 74,000 GBP (about $116,000). From what I understand, this does not include tickets, which are 200 GBP ($360) a head, with a purchase minimum of 30.
The brochure also details some food and beverage minimums, you’ll have to work out the details with Royal and Ancient. To be safe, I would budget $200,000 for a hospitality tent at The Open, perhaps a little bit more if you plan on flying your clients to Scotland and putting them up in a hotel.
If you’re serious about selling to a demographic that is serious about golf, be realistic about your chances of getting a tent at The Masters. A tent at The Open Champion is going to seriously impress the 30 patrons that you invite.
The PGA Championship:
A lot of people think of this major as less important than the other three, but as we all know from experience, the PGA can be a blast. This year, the Professional Golfers Association is hosting their championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester NY. This might not sound like an ideal place to take prospects, but Rochester is an awesome location if you do a lot of business in New York City or New England.
Prices for tents and tables can be found in this letter of intent. Here, it looks options range from $34,000 for a 10 guest table, all the way to $425,000 for a 150 guest chalet. The PGA asks for a 25% deposit with your letter of intent, and if I know one thing about golf, (believe me I do) this deposit is not going to be refundable. The brochure contains a contact number if you have questions about food and beverage, I’m sure that food isn't included in any of the packages.
So there you have it. I know that a lot of time marketing professionals, and this includes myself, look at corporate hospitality tents at the majors and think, there’s no way, no amount of money could buy that space. But like everything else, (unless we’re talking about The Masters) these tents are tangible items. It’s going cost around $200,000 to host a group of 50 at one of these tournaments. It’ll be a little bit more if you want to stake your claim at The Open Championship, or you can save some dough if you’re willing to gamble on a partnership with the USGA.
No doubt hosting a group at a major golf tournament is going to be a lot of fun, but you have to remember that like any marketing, a hospitality tent is an investment. Look at your ROI; if you need the 50 people you’re inviting to buy 200,000 one dollar lollypops so you can break even, you’re going to lose a lot of money on your tent. On the other hand, if you can sell three vendors contracts worth $100,000 to your company, you’ve done pretty well.
Hopefully this article has convinced some of you that there’s room in your marketing plan for a hospitality tent. I don’t write these blogs for recognition, but if this article had a positive effect on your bottom line, I’d really appreciate you setting aside a couple passes for TAB at the next golf tournament you sponsor. Or at least mail us a polo…
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