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Cragun's 2016

Local Golf
July 22, 2017

The Mutually Beneficial Venture of Golf, Golfers, and Sponsorships

Sponsorships are always a huge thing when it comes to sports. We usually see it in team competitions such as soccer and basketball; with major companies having their brands embellished on the front of players' kits. On one hand, we have marketable European clubs like FC Barcelona, Arsenal, and Liverpool having expensive deals with Nike, Puma, and Warrior, respectively. This, of course, doesn't even constitute their exclusive partnership with the likes of Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Standard Chartered. On the other, the NBA - as a whole - has an exclusive deal with sports apparel giants Adidas and Stance. Brian Mahoney of NBA.com even reports that the league may soon adapt the soccer concept, and place sponsorship logos on player jerseys.

Again, the abovementioned examples are all professional team sports. So how about individual ones like golf and its players, you might ask? In a nutshell, golfers, just like pro soccer and basketball stars, are athletes. Aside from playing their respective sport with passion and gusto, they embrace the spotlight on a regular basis, which, in a way, makes them the ideal marketing tools for large companies.

Forbes list Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth as the top earners in golf this year. One take away from the article is the understanding that the lion's share of these profits comes from - you guessed it - sponsorships. Mickelson has been corporate partners with Callaway, Exxon Mobil, and Rolex for a good decade, while Titlelist and Under Armour back current number five golfer Spieth.

Sponsorship.com has an infographic that details which industries support golf worldwide. According to the piece, automobile companies are more likely to sponsor the sport compared than other businesses. As a matter of fact, 27% of golf properties with a patron in the automotive commerce report significant funding from German luxury car giants BMW. However, this isn't to say that other industries don't see the sport as an equally beneficial venture.

On a smaller scale, apart from sponsoring local amateur and commercial tournaments, online gaming companies have incorporated major golfing events as part of their monthly marketing campaign. For instance, back in 2013, Pocketfruity, a well-known European-based casino platform, ran the Fruity Friday promotion in accordance to the aforementioned year's biggest golfing spectacle. Based on an article by Tood Wolff of Iowa Golf, the 2013 Masters was one of the weekly themes of the online casino firm's advertising campaign. The promotion ran the whole month of April, coinciding with the major tournament, which was held from the 11th to the 14th of that same month. Furthermore, just by commenting and/or sharing Fruity Friday Facebook posts, users had a chance to win a bunch of golf giveaways and even virtual coins.

All in all, this reflects how sports are legitimate and effective marketing tools. With the right partnership and a mutually beneficial deal, there will always be a way to put athletes on the pedestal of greatness. Whether in team sports like soccer and basketball, or individual events such as golf, sponsorships are a big deal.

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