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Volume 22 No. 49
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What resonated with fans among PGA Tour sponsors?

FedEx continues dominating run as most-recognized sponsor.

Sixty percent of PGA Tour fans correctly identified FedEx as the property’s official shipping partner, the highest recognition rate the brand has received in the annual Sponsor Breakthrough survey conducted for Sports Business Journal by Turnkey Intelligence.

Recognition compared to 2018

+8% points: Michelob Ultra — It was the best survey ever for the property’s most-tenured partner.

+6% points: Grey Goose — The brand topped the combined total of the other five vodkas tracked.

+5% points: Travelers — Travelers’ TV ads again aired exclusively during golf programming.

-3% points: MetLife — Recognition has fallen since MetLife ended its Peanuts relationship in 2016.

Of the 68 brands that were measured in the survey, FedEx was — for the 10th straight year — the most likely to be identified by PGA Tour fans as a sponsor. The survey consists of 400 PGA Tour fans and is fielded during the final two weeks of the FedEx Cup. 

The brand, whose FedEx Cup title sponsorship began in 2007 and runs through 2027, has become one of the most recognized brand-property alliances in sports. Only Budweiser/Bud Light’s recognition rate among NFL fans and Goodyear’s among NASCAR fans rank as high or higher in recent surveys.

FedEx spent $14.5 million advertising during golf telecasts from Nov. 13, 2018, to Nov. 12, 2019, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year, according to SBJ’s analysis of data.

Other notable findings from the data:

■ An all-time high of 39% of fans knew that Bridgestone was the tour’s official tire.

■ Charles Schwab hit an all-time high of 37% for its fan-awareness level.

Ad effectiveness

Turnkey draws from its database of more than 400 ads to analyze the impact of creative spots running on sports programming.

Grade: 10 (EXCELLENT)

Reigning PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka connected with golf fans, scoring highly across key metrics. Fans found the spot, which heavily featured Koepka on the course, to be highly engaging. data shows that one-third of Rolex’s TV ad spending the past year was earmarked for golf programming.


Grade: 8 (GOOD)

While Rickie Fowler sits on his patio daydreaming about teeing off on the perfect fairway, his neighbor gives a friendly wave before becoming paranoid by the golfer’s unending gaze. PGA Tour fans found the spot, which featured Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me,” to be highly engaging and likable, with good branding.