3M – Portrait of a Golf Tournament Sponsor A Behind the Scenes Look at the 3M Championship
As an employer, what if there was something you could do to involve and reward your employees, your customers, your suppliers, and even your retirees? This is one of the key questions 3M pondered before they said “yes” to sponsoring the 3M Championship at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.
In 2001, a symbiotic relationship was forged between Jerry Maybrey, 3M’s Director of Sponsorship and Customer Events, and Hollis Cavner, the founder and Director of this Champions Tour event. This dynamic duo has not only seen the 3M Championship become the highest attended event on the Champions Tour, they’ve also been inspired as the tourney generated more money for charity that any franchise or event in the history of Minnesota sports.
“We’re proud to say that in its 20-year history, this tournament has raised 20 million dollars for Twin Cities hospitals such as United, Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, and Unity. This figure is far and away the most money ever raised on the Champions Tour,” Maybrey said.
2001 – Arnie And Barnum And Bailey
Before 3M assumed the title of the Twin Cities long-running Senior Tour event, Burnet Realty and Coldwell Banker sponsored the August tournament. Prior to being tapped to direct 3M in its role as a golf corporate sponsor, Maybrey held similar responsibilities for the Twin Cities manufacturer at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
For Maybrey, a collegiate golfer at New Mexico State, 2001 would not only be an opportunity to meet his golf idol, but also work side-by-side with the Twin Cities most-legendary golf marketer and tournament organizer.
When asked what memories stand out from that first tournament, Maybrey didn’t hesitate. “The opportunity to meet my idol, Arnold Palmer, is number one. Beyond that, the first tourney marked the beginning of my working relationship with one of the greatest promoter’s since Barnum and Bailey, Hollis Cavner,” Maybrey said with a chuckle.
Courting Customers From Around The World Through Golf –
There is a certain business science to 3M’s philosophy when considering what they will sponsor. Maybrey shared insights into his company’s belief that a relationship with the Champions Tour would pay dividends for 3M clients and corporate family.
“Minnesota is sometimes a hard sell to get clients to visit us, especially in the winter months. We thought combining business with the greatest names in golf would not only draw customers from around the world, but also serve as a reward for our employees,” Maybrey said.
An opportunity to mingle with golf’s top players has proven to be a win-win for valued clients and 3M employees. Behind the scenes, 3M’s current employees and retirees invest tournament mega-hours, and account for half of the 1,300 volunteers that help make the 3M Championship one of the smoothest running operations on the Champions Tour.
“Hollis’ team and our volunteers do such a great job. We usually have no problem getting the top players to come back again and again. We’re also very fortunate that the Champions Tour players freely give of their time beyond the 54 holes of tournament play. Champions Tour players understand that fans, sponsors, and volunteers help drive their Tour success. The players get it,” Maybrey said.
Annika, Nancy, And Pat
Each year the 3M Championship adds a new twist to their star-studded lineup. This year Cavner’s crew is delighted to announce that three legends in women’s golf will participate against the men as part of the “Greats of Golf” event.
Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, and Pat Bradley will go toe-to-toe versus Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, and Dave Stockton. Arnold Palmer will captain the women’s team. The addition of women players to a Champions Tour event is a first. The 3M Championship is thrilled to expand their audience demographic and hopefully inspire female golfers to see what the excitement is all about.
Tournament creativity, raising money for charity, and developing thriving relationships have become par for the course at the 3M Championship in Blaine, MN. “This event has been a great investment for 3M. More than that, people from around the world have an opportunity to experience what we have to offer here. This tournament is a wonderful thing for the Twin Cities community. 3M is proud of that,” Maybrey said.