Tag Archive | "Golf"

Social Media Caddies…. WTF?!


During last weekend’s Presidents Cup one thing sprang up that caught our attention.  We know that brands, clubs, federations and even players are live-tweeting from events now as it becomes the ‘must have’ accompaniment to a live sports event.

We’ve seen the research by Twitter and the MLB on the effect of live-tweeting during an event and the growth it can have on followers and the number of retweets/favourites they get.  This is based on content from the teams themselves who have all-access and a passionate follower base.

The Presidents Cup, a golf competition in which the US play against an International team in a similar set up as to the more illustrious Ryder Cup,  took things one step further during the competition.  This year a half-dozen Ohio State University strategic-communication students are working as “social-media caddies” for the duration of the event.

They walked the course with iPads and smartphones taking photos and recording observations for the Presidents Cup Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. They also quizzed fans on golf trivia and award small prizes to those in the know.  Mirko Mandic, a senior from Akron said “I love it here, except when it rains, it’s great to interact with the fans.”

The volunteer’s at events such as these have long been part of the events, enabling them to take place by helping organisers fill in many of the roles they just don’t have the money or resource to do themselves.  Now it looks like social media has become part of this… but is it a wise decision?  They are great at get spectators from A to B, looking after the amenities and being hosts at the course but would you put them in charge of your social media?

There may well be a CMS element to the software they’re using to ensure that everything is checked before being published (you’d hope so), in which case then it’s a case of gaining as much content as possible and then filtering through it to then push out the best to the appropriate platforms.

An interesting way of stretching resources to fit but hopefully they’ll ditch the ‘Social Media Caddie’ tops next year though.

Social Media Caddies

 

 

Posted in Events, Golf, Social MediaComments (0)

Pick the hole location at PGA Champs – competition hosted by Jack Nicklaus


A really nice activation the guys at the PGA of America have launched today.  Ahead of the final major of the year, the US PGA Championship, the golf federation are giving fans the opportunity to actually get involved with the course design!

The position of the pin is critical when it comes to how difficult the holes will play.  So what better way in which to involve fans than to have them choose which position it should be?

The PGA have teamed up with golfing legend Jack Nicklaus to give fans a chance to choose the hole location on the 181-yard, par-3 15th hole for the final round of the PGA Championship, Aug. 8-11, at Oak Hill Country Club. The “PGA Championship Pick the Hole Location Challenge Hosted by Jack Nicklaus” began this morning at pga.com. The contest runs until Aug. 10.

It doesn’t mean that fans can place the pin in an unbelievably hard position, e.g. an inch from of the front of the green near a bunker, but the PGA have devised – along with Jack Nicklaus and PGA of America Chief Championships Officer Kerry Haigh – 4 pin positions for fans to choose from.  They also get an inside view of what the benefits of those positions are from the great man himself.

To incentivise fans, they have the chance to win a behind-the-scenes trip to the 2014 PGA Championship.

PGA

The four selected hole locations were chosen by Kerry Haigh, who has set up championship courses for the PGA since 1989, and Nicklaus. Jack said to USA Today;

“The chance for golf fans to interact with the PGA Championship and play a role in shaping the outcome of the final round fascinates me,” 

Haigh added;

“I found it fascinating listening to Jack talking about what he’s thinking about as a player,” 

And why the 15th hole? It’s late in the round, it could prove pivotal and there are many tricky locations to choose from.

“That’s one of the reasons this hole was selected,” Haigh said. “There are a lot of options, and none of them are particularly easy.”

Overall it’s a resally nice competition from a sport that making inroads into social media and digital generally.  Technology wise it is pretty simple but sometimes the best things are just that…. simple. Check it out now on http://picktheholechallenge.pga.com

PGA Pick the hole

 

 

Posted in Digital, GolfComments (0)

Cool Job: Digital Sales Exec at European Tour


The European Golf Tour are seeking an enthusiastic ambitious individual with a strong digital interest to join their Marketing team working across the European Tour Brand.  It’s a great opportunity for the right person out there to work with one of the best NGB’s out there.  We know that digital roles within sport are really competitive but there are lots of great candidates out there.  If you love golf, could this be the role for you??

Here’s some more info on the role and how to apply….

 

Job Purpose

To provide client management and sales support to ensure the Tour’s digital assets are maximised and help deliver and manage all client digital activation linked to sponsorship programmes.  The role will support all areas of the Tour Group’s business and direct daily interface with European Tour Productions and be actively involved in face to face selling of Tour properties and products.

Role & Responsibilities

  • Managing a centralised inventory of European Tour Owned digital assets/products.
  • Research new business leads and opportunities.
  • Involvement in structure & delivery of sponsorship programmes involving digital productions across European Tour and Ryder cup websites, mobile apps, social and other media platforms.
  • Support  Sales and European Tour Productions in sale & delivery of digital commercial packages.
  • Support through implementation of digital rights and benefits deliverable through contracted sponsorship agreements.
  • Support Ryder Cup Commercial programme.
  • Manage sales and delivery of the Tours Tournament TV operation.
  • Sales and Admin support to Group Sales & Client Management teams.

Experience

  • Selling digital advertising and sponsorship to blue chip clients
  • Digital campaign management and reporting
  • Implementation of digital rights and benefits deliverable through contracted sponsorship agreements
  • Experience in the sporting industry desirable

Location: Virginia Water, Surrey

To apply please submit your CV and covering letter to recruitment@europeantour.com quoting reference UKSNDS and your name in the subject field.

Posted in Golf, Jobs, SportComments (0)

The Social Side of Golf [infographic]


Ahead of this weeks much anticipated first Major of the season we thought it would be a great opportunity to look at how golfers have taken to social media.  They were certainly one of the first sports to really take up Twitter, partially down to the amount of down time they have between events.

It is well known that life on the tour can be hard and lonely.  Travelling all over to world and not being seen by fans until they hit the course, sometimes briefly.  Twitter was a way in which they could communicate with fans and share some of their trials and tribulations with them.

Even Tiger Woods, who originally stayed away from all forms of social media is now active on the platform.  His remains one of brand protection and making up the tarnished reputation from his highly publicised misdemeanours.

I remember watching the Ryder Cup back in 2010 using Twitter to enhance the experience.  It was an amazing insight in those who made up the team  and gave a opportunity to see what else happens during the amazing event.  It was the year that the king of Twitter golfers (at least in the UK), Ian Poulter, was criticised for posting a photo of his son eating breakfast out of the famous trophy!

The US Masters starts on Thursday with the world anticipating a Tiger Woods v Rory McIlroy tussle for the biggest title of the year thus far.  But who wins on Twitter?  The guys at Your Golf Travel have put together a quick infographic to show the Top 10 Twitter Golfers.  I asked them what their inspiration was for putting the list together and Rory Anderson said;

“We were interested to see if there was any correlation between player’s form and their current standing in the game and we like to follow the pros as they give us a great insight into life on tour and the courses they play. Ian Poulter is always worth a follow and, of course, we like to keep up to date with Your Golf Travel Ambassador, Darren Clarke.” 

The Social Side of golf1

Posted in Golf, Social MediaComments (0)

Callaway launches ‘Tweet to Unleash’


Golf is a sport which has embracing social media since it began rising in popularity, especially amongst the globe trotting players.  This has seen major event organisers and manufacturers follow suit as they attempt to engage with consumers in different ways and sell their wares.

We have seen before the concept of tweeting to unlock content within a website.  This is a fairly basic piece of functionality (there is even a WordPress plugin available to do it) but it is more about the content and what you, as a consumer, get at the end of it.

Callaway has launched ‘Tweet to Unleash‘ to spread the word about their latest driver.  When you go onto their site it welcomes you with a nice picture of a driver with its cover on.  To see what is underneath and start unlocking the next 7 images you have to tweet using #LongestDriverinGolf to participate.

Each tweet automatically enters you to win the driver before it arrives in 2013 (an exclusive, which many people enjoy getting access to). Those entries unlock the images and videos revealing more about this ‘advanced technology’.  But how much do people care about a new driver??

Well quite a lot to be fair.  So far there have been almost 2,500 tweets using the hashtag and almost 2,000 mentions made of the @CallawayGolf account (up from its usual 10-20).  It’s also been picked up, and probably outreached to, the likes of Golf Monthly, Bunkershot, MediaPost Communications and Yahoo Finance.  A bit of a mixed bag I’m sure you’ll agree.

Seeing as it only started getting picked up at 1pm and it is now 5.30pm, it is doing well through word of mouth and the auto-tweet from each entry.  This is where this type of campaign relies on its success.  The more people tweet the link and tag the more people see it, visit the site and enter themselves.  The viral effect.

Over the next few days, social media activity will determine when the fully-fledged image of the driver becomes available.

There are several milestones that need to be reached. At each milestone – dynamically determined by the volume of tweets that include the #LongestDriverinGolf hashtag – a section of the full image will be released.

There are eight additional milestones to be reached during the process. At each, a certain aspect of the driver’s technology will be revealed and discussed by Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s Head of Research and Development.

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LPGA Tour to Show Twitter Handles on Caddie Bibs


USA Today and Washington Post reported on Monday that the LPGA Tour will test out using the caddies bibs to promote players Twitter handles.  This is going to take place at the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club next month.

We have already seen this happen in Lacrosse and football but it is the first time golf has attempted to go down this route.  It actually makes sense for players to go down this route and would be interesting to find out how much of it is the players pushing for it and how much it is a gimmick to gain the Tour some press.

Golfers have long been on Twitter.  Watching the Ryder Cup back in 2010 whilst having a twitter list made up of players from both teams made for great entertainment and gave the tournament an added depth that had been missing before.

The opportunity for the women’s players to gain more followers and have added exposure is one that will be welcomed.  Many players struggle to make their enjoyment of the game raise a good enough income.  Much of their needs are met by sponsors who require exposure to potential customers via TV, press and digital.

Platforms such as Twitter are great for players to show their personalities and increase their sponsorship earning potential.  The men’s game has been reaping the benefits for a while with the likes of Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood gaining huge followings here in the UK.

The greater exposure the women’s players can gain and more fans they can gain then this will only be good news for their sponsors (and potential sponsors) in the future.  Whether this will be a one-off or something that we will see on a regular basis will be interesting.

The LPGA has 113 players on Twitter and much of the success will be whether the players actually use their accounts whilst promoting them.  Is there much point in a caddy having the name on the back if the player has not tweeted for a year or two?

For those who haven’t put finger to keyboard (or phone) for a while then restarting just before the event would certainly be advisable!

We’ll try to get a quote or two from the LPGA and update the page if and when this happens.  What do you think of the news……the future of golf in social or a PR gimmick?

 

 

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Golf and Social Media in 2012


The introduction of social media to golf has been long overdue. Whilst other sports have been slowly integrating it into their game golf has not been quick enough to catch up.  There have been many reasons for this and the perception of golf is one of those major obstacles for it to push into the digital world.  Making the introduction of social media into the game so much more difficult.

Football clubs all have Twitter and Facebook accounts; the Rugby Football Union has launched its own social media hub called RFU Labs and I am sure London 2012 has a host of social media plans this year. The list of sports clubs and organisations who have embraced a use of social media is endless but how is golf using social media, if at all?

The US Masters is the epitome of tradition and standards within golf but it’s the last place you would think to set new standards in sports social media. And yet it did in 2011 when it launched a number of digital platforms ranging from on-demand video highlights on Twitter to an IPad app that mapped out the golf course yard by yard. Similarly the Open Championship 2011 used Score Centre + to add a new dimension to their digital coverage.  In fact most professional tournaments have at least a Twitter feed or so

However, the key to sports social media is the way it incorporates not only the athletes and organisers but also the everyday fan and enthusiast. Although individual golfers regularly share their views on Twitter, there is no social network that links the average weekend golfer to other amateur players, to courses, to professional bodies or to media. Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Natalie Gulbis are all particularly heavy tweeters but the problem lies in the difference between connecting teams and connecting individual people, particularly if they have smaller fan bases.  A sport played by individuals against other individuals seems much harder to market in social media than something like a professional team.

But there is good news because golf is evolving to use social media more and more. Divotr is a golf social networking site launching this year that will be a place where golf fans can interact in real time during events in a way not unlike Twitter, except everyone can interact with everyone rather than just your own ‘followers’. Since fans of all sports tend to have a better time sharing event experiences with other people this site looks to fill the gap in golf. In terms of playing the game, Howdidido is a site purely for golfers to input their scorecards and handicaps and to share their statistical ups and downs of the game. Although it is a handy site for players it’s not a game changer in terms of fan interaction and social media.

The biggest launch of golf social media this year is the Back9 Network which is replacing its twindling predecessor the Golf Channel. Its mission is “to offer entertaining and edgy content that fuses the sport of golf with the exciting lifestyle that surrounds it”. It will provide golf fans with a multimedia lifestyle and entertainment network distributed over many different digital platforms. The Back9 Network then appears to be step in the right direction by giving the 60 million people that play golf a voice. Its impact on the perception of golf will be hotly anticipated but whether it inspires a bright new generation of golf fans nobody knows.

As more and more sports integrate social media into their daily routine the sports which are not fully utilising it are the ones which suffer. Golf as a global sport will suffer if it does not integrate social media into its structure.  But luckily it’s getting a shake-up and its perception to the average person as an elitist, dusty game is going to change very soon; most importantly with the use of social media to bring players and fans together.

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2011 Open Golf Championship & Social Media


With the first golfers teeing off today on day one of the 2011 Open Golf Championship, what better time to look at the new innovations that the organisers are putting our way.

Integral to the new look offering are Facebook (www.facebook.com/the-open-championship), Twitter (www.twitter.com/the_open_champ) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/openchampionship) in addition to the main website, new live TV offering with @TheOpen LIVE and Android/iPhone apps.

“@TheOpen LIVE is an exciting new development in the way we present the Championship,” said R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson. “Although coverage of the golf is broadcast all over the world, we have never previously provided viewers with an intimate experience of the unique atmosphere that The Open creates for spectators. With its behind-the-scenes access and interaction with fans, this live channel will do that.”

You can even watch some of the live coverage via Livestream on the Facebook page, a great way of expanding their reach and offering a great free service to golf enthusiasts.  they have certainly put a lot of thought, effort and money into their online offerings this year but has it been integrated in anything else they are doing to raise the necessary awareness?

It is all very well putting together some really useful, well thought out strategies but they are not integrated off-line then how will people find them to be able to be able to watch/comment?  It will be interesting to find out how it went and what results they gained at the end of the four days.

The 2011 Virtual Open Championship, a free, online game produced by World Golf Tour, is running alongside The Open, this year, with both the nine-hole skills challenge and the 18-hole qualifying round ending on 17 July. This year’s Virtual Open Champion will win a trip for two to the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, including travel, accommodation, tickets to the venue for the week and exclusive R&A Club Marquee access.

The award-winning Opengolf.com will be accompanied by ‘Score Centre+’: A live desktop console, providing fans of The Open with information about the current venue, up-to-date news and video coverage of the build up to the four Championship days in July.

Up to five hours of live coverage will be broadcast daily, by a team of presenters that includes Dominic Holyer and Georgie Bingham, bringing viewers the unique atmosphere of The Open, wherever they are in the world, as well as coverage of post-round press conferences, exclusive interviews and highlights of play.

Here are some snapshots of the different platforms and offers on them.  I’ll certainly be following @TheOpen on Twitter and possibly tuning into Facebook to watch some live golf! 

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The Twitter ‘Millionaires’ Club


As UK Sports Stars embrace social media in all its forms and become the digital generation of our sports we are seeing a few rise up above the rest and give enough reason for people to click ‘follow’.

I wanted to look in a little more detail to see what gives these few the edge and what the others have to look to do to catch up.  We know that many fans will follow players from their favourite teams and so those from the highest profile teams in the highest profile sports will always come out top.

The million club on twitter currently has 3 people at its table, with a fourth knocking on the door to join in.  One thing that is interesting to note is that many of our top tennis, golf, football and cricket stars sit at around 200,000-400,000 bracket.

Within this sit the likes of Andy Murray, Michael Owen, Rory McIroy, Lee Westwood, David Haye, Kevin Pietersen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Jack Wilshere and Robbie Savage (how did he get in there?!).

Here’s a look at the top 3….

  Read the full story

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Tiger Woods Twitter Q&A Session


Last night Tiger hosted an unannounced Q&A session from his twitter account answering a flurry of questions before having to disappear off to a media engagement.

The former world no.1 golfer (recently displaced by England’s Lee Westwood – another new twitter addict) was having a lesson in how to use twitter and a Q&A was a great way of learning how to respond as well as gain more followers….and more respect from sceptics to his appearance on the platform.

With over 250k followers he still have some way to get to twitters favourite golfer, our very own Ian Poulter who has over 1m.

Here are the answers he posted and also a link to a pic of him in the boardroom where he was being trained.

Gotta go to press conf. wish me luck these guys are in charge RT: @ReesRachel Media Center Staff has sass and Santa http://yfrog.com/goms10j about 23 hours ago via web

Lakers, Dodgers, Raiders RT: @jmandel2 Favorite team to root for (besides Stanford)? about 23 hours ago via web

EVERYTHING. RT: @Michael_Necci What part of your game are looking forward to in 2011? about 23 hours ago via web

No movie compares to Caddyshack. RT: @MrCree2 Coming to America or Hangover? about 23 hours ago via web

Basketball. RT: @WeberN @TigerWoods if you could play any other sport, what would it be? about 23 hours ago via web

I can barely grow a goatee. RT: @PeytonD @TigerWoods can you rock a full beard or only the goatee? about 23 hours ago via web

RT: @TWLearnCenter @tigerwoods – It was great to see you yesterday. The kids enjoyed seeing you. Good luck this week. about 23 hours ago via web

Stanford in the National Championship Game RT: @Michelleannette so what does the man who can buy anything want for Christmas about 23 hours ago via web

More majors than the other. RT: @FMinorLP U and Roger Federer are competing to see who wins the most majors, what does the winner get? about 23 hours ago via web

Single digit handicap with a nasty hook. RT: @billyfennelly I know that you have caddied for Stevie before, how good of a golfer is he? about 23 hours ago via web

St. Andrews. RT: @Justin_PRGuy @TigerWoods what’s your favorite course and why? about 23 hours ago via web

Thanks brother RT: @Squidbaittw I’m a retired Special Ops Guy like your dad. I got divorced and it was tough as hell. I have faith in you! about 23 hours ago via web

Read RT: @davejemm Cant believe TW is on Twitter! The fact that you may read this Tiger fills me with excitement ! Absolutely love you man ! about 23 hours ago via web

Go pioneers! RT: @DjKillerDistro show Orange County some love! Ima Western High School Alumni too! about 23 hours ago via web

The board room tweeting you RT: GoogleJason The only reason I’m back on twitter is to see what Tiger has to say…where you at @tigerwoods? about 23 hours ago via web

As Al Davis said “Just win baby” RT: @mwheeler22 @TigerWoods ..yo tiger, what are your 2011 goals on the PGA tour? about 23 hours ago via web

During round I eat peanut&banana sandwich & almonds RT: @macrod01 Hey — What’s the best pre-round meal and “in the bag” snacks/food? Thnx. about 23 hours ago via web

Steep and deep. RT: @HunterMahan @TigerWoods Hahahaha. Have you made a complete turn yet? about 23 hours ago via web

Thx man loved being in PA. Go Raiders! RT: @nuketech24 Get it done at the chevron! Your many fans in Pittsburgh will b cheering u on about 23 hours ago via web

Steak and baked potato. RT: @Padgoi what did you eat after your foundation meeting? about 23 hours ago via web

TCU in the National Champion game. It could happen.. @kev2128 Tiger, who would you rather see Stanford play, TCU, Wisconsin or Ohio State? about 23 hours ago via web

Spent a lot of time on future expansion plans for TWLC @kathleenhessert what came out of your learning center & foundation board meeting? about 23 hours ago via web

Getting a lesson in @ replies here it goes.. http://twitpic.com/3bp5uj about 23 hours ago via Twitpic

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