SBJ/May 13-19, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Golf NGB draws on content from partners for new website; sponsor hunt in full swing

The national governing body for golf has launched a website and begun the search for sponsors.

The USA Golf Federation, spearheaded by the PGA Tour’s Andy Levinson, established its home page on a network of NGB pages that are hosted at TeamUSA.org. The umbrella site offers governing bodies a template to follow in designing each of their sites. USA Golf supplies the content and imagery.

The USA Golf site went live last week and will carry content aggregated from the group’s partners in the United States: the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and U.S. Golf Association. Golf, which has been absent from the Olympics since 1904, will be an Olympic sport in 2016.

The USA Golf site went live last week.
Most of the images on the site show golfers attired in red, white and blue, the colors they wore while representing the U.S. in Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup competitions. Soon, Levinson hopes, there will be USA Golf sponsors to feature on the website.

Levinson, the executive director of USA Golf and a full-time employee of the PGA Tour, where he oversees anti-doping efforts, will lead the sponsorship sales. He formerly worked in the tour’s business development and marketing divisions and will lean on that experience to start the sales process.

Levinson said he’s not ready to name a range of what sponsorships will sell for because he’s not sure exactly how much money he needs to raise.

“I’m out there talking to tennis and basketball and [governing bodies for] other sports to find out what we need,” Levinson said last week from his office just down the hill from TPC Sawgrass, home of the Players Championship. “The [U.S. Olympic Committee] provides some funding, but we’re looking to provide an elite-level experience, just like what the players have at the Players Championship. We want to make sure they have access to physical therapy and the best trainers. We want them to be able to play within their routine.”

In addition to exposure on the USA Golf site, sponsors will have rights to use the USA Golf mark. Other assets are being developed.

USA Golf also will select an apparel partner. Polo Ralph Lauren outfits the U.S. Olympians for the opening and closing ceremonies, while Nike has rights for podium wear when Olympians win medals.

“There’s a whole education process with golf in the Olympics,” Levinson said, adding that the website will be a key tool for USA Golf to tell its story.

“Our goal is to be able to cover the experience of the Olympic athletes in golf and contribute to the development of future Olympians. Now we just have to figure out a way to pay for this thing,” Levinson said with a laugh.

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