How Sponsors of Pro Golfers Can Benefit From Olympic Golf (Part 2)
Part 2 - In your role as a CMO, you think your company should, at the very least, explore ways to capitalize on the IOC’s announcement that golf will return as an Olympic sport in 2016 and 2020.
You also think your company’s support of the Olympics could be an opportunity to promote and grow the great game of golf here in the USA and globally in advance of the 2016 summer games.
In this second of three blog posts, we will look at the third and fourth of four options your company might consider depending upon its current positioning. They are:
Non-Olympic Sponsors With Golf Ambassador Programs
Maybe your company has a golf ambassador program already in place. Good examples are Zurich, RBC and MasterCard. Although not Olympic sponsors, these companies can leverage the brand exposure received through their pro golfer sponsorships as they would have the right to sign athletes (i.e., professional golfers) who compete in the Summer Games in 2016.
At this point, it appears that Zurich is in a really good position to capitalize on the global representation of their golf ambassadors which include America’s Keegan Bradley and Rickey Fowler ; Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and England’s Luke Donald and Justin Rose. All have records that would indicate they have a good chance of making their respective Olympic golf teams in 2016.
Caveat: Based on Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, athletes are forbidden from taking part in advertising for anyone except Olympic sponsors during the Games. (< Click on link)
Non-Olympic Sponsors Without Golf Ambassador Programs
Possibly, you are a company that sponsors golf tours and / or professional golf tournaments. If so, the opportunity exists to create a golf ambassador program and start recruiting players who would fit with your brand identity and also have the greatest potential of making the 2016 Olympic golf teams.
Starting now would provide the lead time needed to build the connection between your brand and your company’s golf ambassadors. And once that connection is made, the linkage between your brand’s association with pro golfers and the likelihood they might compete in the Olympics will appear seamless and authentic.
In your selection and recruitment process, keep in mind that some of the top players today, who will be in their 40s when 2016 rolls around, should not be overlooked. A case in point is Tiger Woods who indicated he wants to play in the Olympics. As reported on pgatour.com, here's what Tiger had to say in 2009 after the IOC's announcement about the summer games in Rio:
"There are millions of young golfers worldwide who would be proud to represent their country, "It would be an honor for anyone who plays this game to become an Olympian."
In all of the above options, the sponsors of pro golfers could negotiate incentives into their contracts that reward their golf ambassadors for making their respective Olympic teams.
With regard to the timing of a potential sponsorship with an Olympic golfer, the PGA Tour points out:
"The timing is dependent upon the type of sponsorship in question. Sponsorship inquiries are best handled by first contacting the International Olympic Committee, then working down to the national level and then on to the individual athlete."
Caveat: Based on Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, athletes are forbidden from taking part in advertising for anyone except Olympic sponsors during the Games. (< click on link)
Our strategic partner, Bill Colvin , is constantly working with his corporate clients to help ensure the success of their golf sponsorships. In fact, many of the golf ambassadors he recruited for his corporate clients have served in that capacity for five years or more.
To learn more about how our strategic partner, Colvin Sports Network, serves as an advocate for companies exploring marketing opportunities with professional golfers, click on the button below.
If you missed the first part of this article, go to: How Sponsors of Pro Golfers Can Benefit From Olympic Golf-Part 1