Event Marketing: Companies tee-off

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.Kirsten Armitage is an account executive with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases...

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.

Kirsten Armitage is an account executive with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Kirsten at (416) 229-0060 or fax (416) 229-1210.

More and more, golf is emerging as the sport of choice when corporate sponsorship dollars are involved. Why has this sport gained such sponsorship notoriety?

From a corporate perspective, golf sponsorship can address five business needs.

First, corporate image and awareness can be enhanced. Sponsoring golf tournaments affords companies the opportunity to achieve a high degree of public awareness at a fairly prestigious level.

Second, golfers and golf fans represent a clearly defined target audience.

The typical golfer is predominately male and enjoys an above-average income ($50,000+).

Companies in the financial services, automotive and telecommunications sectors are eager to reach this target group with their array of products and services. Consequently, these companies are actively involved in golf sponsorship.

Furthermore, professional golfers are true ambassadors of their sport.

They consider their role in public and their relationship with sponsors as integral to their sport. Companies can sponsor both players and tournaments, confident that corporate image will be properly represented.

In addition, golf sponsorship provides a tremendous opportunity to conduct business-to-business hosting.

Ticket and merchandise giveaways to customers are standard tactics. Companies often buy corporate marquees for the tournament week to provide vip hosting.

Top-to-top hosting can be effectively executed through invitational pro-ams at which valued clients are invited to play with professional golfers.

Finally, golf has proven to be a winner for corporate sponsorship when sponsors are able to showcase their products in a manner relevant to the event. ibm, for example, has been quite successful with its sponsored scoreboards.

There is no doubt golf will continue to grow in Canada. More than four million Canadians now profess to play the game. Television viewership and tournament attendance is increasing as well.

Upcoming events

The Bell Canadian Open comes to Glen Abbey, in Oakville, Ont., kicking off with the Bell Sygma Classic (Skins format) on Sept. 6.

Nick Price and David Frost are scheduled to participate in this event.

Notable players who have already confirmed their intention to enter the Bell Canadian Open include Price, Fred Couples and returning champion, Frost.

The tournament runs from Sept. 8-11. For ticket information, call 1-800-571-OPEN.

Next year, 1995, marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.

A number of activities are being planned to support the centennial, including a tv special on ctv, a commemorative book, and the opportunity for all 1,400 member clubs to host a centennial tournament in addition to the sale of logo’d merchandise.

Bell Canada and Mackenzie Financial are program sponsors.

For more information, contact Scott Simmons at (905) 849-9700.

The Canadian Professional Golf Tour, which conducts 10 to 12 events across Canada each summer, is seeking sponsors for individual events.

For more information, contact Dick Grimm at (905) 840-4423.