SBJ/June 20-26, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

PGA Tour tees up pick 'em game on Facebook

The PGA Tour is taking its yearlong “New Breed vs. Establishment” campaign to Facebook as part of a new game that will give users a chance to compete for prizes while, the tour hopes, developing a stronger allegiance to favorite players.

The tour wants fans to find a rooting interest.
The tour’s brand marketing team has talked often this year about initiatives that promote “a rooting interest” by the fans. By creating a “matchup” game on Facebook, which calls for the user to pick a golfer in a weekly head-to-head matchup against another player, the tour believes it will give the fans a deeper connection to the players, especially if they can win prizes for it.

“We’ve had a big emphasis all year, especially online, for people to engage with the golfers and show their support,” said Scott Gutterman, executive producer at PGATour.com.

The PGA Tour matchup game is expected to launch this week or next on Facebook. Each week, editors at PGATour.com will create five head-to-head matchups and the low score for the tournament wins the matchup. The “New Breed vs. Establishment” theme will contribute to the formation of these matchups.

Users with the best record will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to the store on PGATour.com. At the end of the season, a grand prize $1,500 gift certificate to the store will be awarded.

To be eligible, users must have a Facebook account and register for the PGA Tour Matchups game. The matchups game does not have a sponsor yet, but the tour could add it to the inventory it’s selling if the game catches on. The game will be promoted from PGATour.com.

“You know it’s working when people pick up the debate and carry it forward through social media,” Gutterman said. “We’ve now got more than 40 players across our three tours (PGA, Nationwide, Champions) on Twitter and some of the guys, like Graeme McDowell, spend quite a bit of time on there answering questions from fans. It gives the players a chance to distinguish themselves and engage with the followers. A lot of the guys now are doing a very good job of standing out.”

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