PGA Tour Has More Twitter Followers, But LPGA An Innovative Leader With Social Media
The PGA Tour and LPGA are "now playing a pioneering role in the sports world's rush to embrace all things Twitter," according to Geoff Shackelford of GOLF WORLD. Network TV has "embraced tweets for something as simple as reminding viewers that a telecast has started, while also valuing the virtual water-cooler role Twitter plays in embellishing the viewing experience with analysis, humor or quick access to back stories." On-site tournament interaction is "the next area of growth." The PGA Tour "crushes the LPGA in followers (566,109 to 56,615), but the women's tour is innovating in ways that have gotten the attention of the sports world." With an emphasis on players "doing the messaging work in their own voice over the tour's official account, the LPGA has an array of well-coordinated initiatives." For example, the Friday before a tournament, the LPGA "sends out information to players on the upcoming week's sponsor, tournament initiatives and appropriate 'hashtags' that will turn up in Twitter searches." There are "Twitter takeovers" on Golf Channel telecasts where a player "answers fan questions while sitting in the broadcast booth." The LPGA most of all has "made sure that players' Twitter handles are on pairing sheets and caddie bibs." While all of the major golf bodies are "on the Twitter bandwagon, the Masters account's paltry number of tweets is conspicuous considering the club's propensity to break barriers in certain Internet categories." The club's "Twitter-lite stance will perhaps soften in 2014 and beyond, depending on how this year's tournament plays out on social media." But "considering Twitter's place in the sports pantheon, expect this year's Masters to be more talked about on Twitter than ever before" (GOLF WORLD, 4/14 issue).
FOLLOW THAT BIRD: Data from Octagon’s “Passion Shift” social media research initiative shows that 30% of 18-54 year old golf fans engage with Twitter while they watch golf on TV. Golf fans who engage with Twitter are more than three times more likely to buy a brand’s product as a result of sponsorship (compared to golf fans not on Twitter). Fans with lower handicaps are far more likely to engage with golf-related Twitter activity than golf fans with higher handicaps or golf fans that do not play. Meanwhile, data from SBJ/SBD research shows that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy lead all golfers in Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Rickie Fowler leads the way among golfers in terms of Instagram followers (THE DAILY).