SBD/June 29, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship Looks To Increase Awareness In Signing PGA Tour Development Tour Deal Chair, President & CEO David Brown said that the company signed a naming-rights deal for the PGA Tour’s developmental tour “to increase brand awareness,” according to Elizabeth Olson of the N.Y. TIMES. Brown said, “We have a great name, but the general market does not know we exist. I would be surprised if they had ever heard our name.” Olson reports the company, which “has three million customers, is stepping out at a time when more small and medium-size companies are relying on the Internet to attract customers, but few have the resources to employ internal technology experts.” Brown: “We are about to become bolder.” He outlined a strategy that combines the "tour sponsorship, an official marketing partnership with the PGA Tour and a series of television commercials.” Brown said that also plans to “tap golf fans by holding free forums for local small- and medium-size businesses to familiarize them with the company’s offerings, and to work with local charities.” He said that the company “was preparing a series of commercials, which will range from 30 seconds to two minutes, to tell stories of small-business successes with its services.” He added that “no date has been set for them to go on the air.” Olson notes’s “breakout move comes as it competes with such high-wattage companies” as GoDaddy (N.Y. TIMES, 6/29).

MORE THAN JUST AN UMBRELLA SPONSORSHIP: Golf Channel’s Alex Miceli said, “The umbrella sponsorship of what used to be the Nationwide Tour is really a brand-building exercise for them. They are trying to expand what they do out there in the business.” Miceli added, “They are involved with the Internet, that’s something the Tour is going to be much more involved with now because they’re taking their own website in-house.” Golf Channel’s Craig Perks said, “There's a nice synergy between and the Tour. I think is there to help small and medium businesses succeed online. I think it's a very much the same with these players. ... It's a great fit because this Tour is in a lot of smaller to medium markets” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 6/27). Golf Channel’s Gary Williams: “They are going to be more than an umbrella sponsor, they're going to help us with our digital platform which is a big deal for them going forward in conjunction with the new TV agreement that they got done within the last year” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 6/27).
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