Just as professional golfers rely on corporate sponsors to help them succeed on the course, golf championship managers look to corporate partnerships as part of a winning event-marketing strategy.
Corporate hospitality sales for the PGA TOUR’s BMW Championship, to be held Sept. 3-9 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, are approaching record numbers, proving that Hoosiers — who have rallied around big-time events like February’s Super Bowl — possess the corporate support to stage national sporting events.
Individual ticket sales and volunteer recruitment (remember all those blue scarves in downtown Indianapolis during Super Bowl festivities?) are important ingredients to an event’s success, but corporate backing is the key. Large-scale events, such as the BMW Championship, thrive only in markets that provide broad corporate involvement.
The BMW Championship, the third of four events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, has already drawn support from more than 150 local companies. In September, corporate hospitality guests will enjoy prime viewing spots from 31 private corporate tents on the 12th, 14th and 18th holes as they follow the world’s top 70 players in a battle for $8 million in prize money and a $1.44 million winner’s share.
Many other corporate supporters will take advantage of the amenities in the shared clubhouse hospitality area, designated as the Champions Club. Additional offerings will include elaborate BMW hospitality venues and the Wadley Club, an upgraded ticket venue with a climate-controlled interior. And there will be plenty to see. Special attractions for all spectators will include BMW car displays, merchandise tents, interactive contests and Biergartens offering food and refreshments throughout the championship grounds.
Support is not just a one-way street. Vendors assisting with tournament operations are, when possible, hired locally. The corporate support and the dollars spent to hire local vendors — combined with the travel and tourism revenue generated by the BMW Championship — will result in an economic impact to the region exceeding $30 million.
With the enthusiasm already shown, the 2012 BMW Championship is destined for success. And if Hoosiers continue on course with their support of corporate hospitality and individual ticket sales between now and the first week in September, the championship is certain to be a “hole-in-one” for both the event and the community.
For more information about the BMW Championship, please visit www.BMWChampionshipUSA.com.
Billy Rodgers is a tournament director for the Western Golf Association, host of the BMW Championship. He can be contacted at Rodgers@wgaesf.com.