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"GOLFWATCH" PUTS SPONSORS IN FAST LANE
Published January 10, 1997
Four PGA Tour events this year will feature "express walking lanes" along fairways, roped off exclusively to give spectators preferred viewing at each green. The concept, called "GolfWatch," was created by Jack Vickers, founder of Colorado's Castle Pines Golf Club & the PGA's Sprint Int'l, and will debut at the Nissan Open in L.A. from February 26- March 2. Other events scheduled for "GolfWatch" include the Buick Classic in N.Y. in June, the Sprint Int'l in Denver in July, and The Tour Championship in Houston this November. Plans call for "GolfWatch" at a minimum of 12 events in '98 and 20 to 24 by the year 2000. EXPRESS LANES: At each event, 1,000 memberships will be sold for $1,500 per person, and benefits will include: tournament admission for the entire week; use of express lanes; parking permit; and access to skyboxes and hospitality tents. Barry Brokaw, President of Denver-based Strategic Marketing Management (SMM), told THE DAILY that "GolfWatch" is an ideal vehicle for corporate entertaining as golf "has become so popular, it is difficult for corporation's guests to see the tournament." Brokaw: "From a selling perspective, we are where we expected to be at this time. We have had a good reaction from corporate America to this idea." "GolfWatch" will debut at Sr. PGA Tour events in '98, and while SMM has expressed interest, there are no plans at this time to market to LPGA events. Asked if "GolfWatch" could alienate new fans, Brokaw said, "Golf has plenty of room for individuals who want to come out to day events. But, crowds are getting bigger and you have corporation's who want to do corporate entertainment. So, GolfWatch is a natural add-on to that kind of client entertainment" (THE DAILY).