SBD/June 5, 2012/Events and Attractions

FedEx St. Jude Classic Targets Younger Crowd With New Slogan, Party Tent, Concert

FedEx's marketing team created the slogan “The Thwack Is Back” for this year's event
PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic organizers “have taken a new tack toward marketing their event” as they have “doubled their marketing budget and are actively searching for a younger crowd," according to Kyle Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. The average age of a fan at the tournament five years ago was 42 years old, while last year it was 50, representing "an eight-year jump in age over the course of just half a decade.” Veazey noted the tournament’s future “has been questioned in recent years.” In ‘09 and ‘10, the event “went without an all-important title sponsor, lending considerable fear that it would disappear.” Also, in a PGA Tour era that “defined your tournament by whether Tiger Woods played in it, the local event was decidedly on the outside -- Woods has never played here.” The tournament “has recovered” as FedEx, “came back on board last year and has provided stability -- and is hoping to achieve a fresh look in the local sports landscape.” Tournament Dir Phil Cannon said, "It's time for us to reinvent ourselves.” Different elements of the rebranding include a “less-traditional, more eyebrow-raising slogan” titled, “The Thwack Is Back,” created by FedEx's sports marketing team. There is also a party tent “just off the 12th green where patrons can drink all the beer they want for $10" and a Saturday night concert "featuring party band Super T." Cannon said of the party tent and concert, "[This is] a big departure for us. ... We're going to jump in feet first.” Meanwhile, tournament Manager Darrell Smith “has been driving a Ford Expedition wrapped with the event's logos across town, and teams have been promoting the event, person-to-person, by handing out schedule cards during festival season and at other events” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/3).
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