SBD/August 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Omega Today Begins Official Timekeeper Role With PGA Of America

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Omega is running print ads in several int'l newspapers during PGA Championship
The PGA of America and Omega today formally launch a five-year partnership that designates the Swiss watchmaker as the PGA’s official timekeeper. The unveiling is timed in conjunction with the first round of the 93rd PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. The deal gives Omega timekeeper designations at several PGA-sanctioned events, including the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship and PGA Grand Slam of Golf through ‘16, as well as a presence at the ’12 and ’14 Ryder Cups. Omega has also committed to multifaceted timepiece and facility clock programs that are exclusive to PGA of America’s 27,000-plus members. Rolex had previously been the PGA's official timekeeper since ’94. Omega earlier this week launched an extensive advertising campaign in conjunction with the start of the tournament. The campaign’s television component features spots running on TNT and CBS, while int’l spots are airing on CNN Int’l, BBC World News and CNBC. The commercial features imagery from Atlanta Athletic Club with messaging that highlights Omega’s mission to grow the game of golf on a global level. Print ads have been running in the Int’l Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal Asia and the PGA Magazine. Online ads are appearing on NYTimes.com, BBC.com and PGA.com, which has been running an Omega countdown clock since Aug. 1. The company will entertain guests in an on-course chalet that Omega President Stephen Urquhart described as a “fantastic platform that we can reach out and talk to many consumers.” Urquhart: “The first two days it will be focused basically on consumers who are in the network. Real estate partners, important members of the media, and the second wave, starting Saturday and Sunday, will be more toward the trade and fine retail jewelers.”

WATCH THIS: World Golf HOFer Greg Norman, who began endorsing the Omega brand last year, is in Atlanta helping promote the new partnership, and he said of his relationship with Omega, “They liked what my beliefs were with the game of golf in the Olympics and they loved my beliefs of how we promote the game of golf on the grassroots level.” Norman was very instrumental in helping facilitate a deal between Urquhart and PGA of America President Joe Steranka. Norman felt both entities shared similar goals regarding the growth of the game and they “were both like-minded and powerful brands.” Norman, who began his career as an assistant pro in Australia, said, “I’m a huge, huge fan of the PGA of America ... and I thought it was a great opportunity for Omega." He noted Rolex "had pretty much dominated” the global golf space. Urquhart said golf remains an important part of Omega’s growth as it “provides a perfect statement for our brand.” Urquhart referred to the new pact as “a 365-day-a-year deal” that will allow the company to “do things all year round with all the clubs that are associated with the PGA of America.” He noted golf “is the most played individual sport probably in the world." Urquhart: "It’s by far the biggest sport in the U.S. market for individuals. ... We are talking to tens of millions of people -- who are potential customers -- who are involved with golf, play golf and love the game.” He said Omega is always looking to add more golf properties to its portfolio. Urquhart: “I could name one or two, but I wouldn’t want to. We have one of the four majors, another major would be fabulous to have.”

SHARK WEEK: See tomorrow's issue of the THE DAILY for an extended Q&A with Norman, who talks about the Tiger Woods-Steve Williams situation and the efforts to find a new title sponsor for his Shark Shootout tournament.
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