How to Plan, Organize and Run a Charity Golf Tournament

Hole #8. Promotion and Marketing for Golf Outings

Target Market Your Efforts
It is important to promote your event. The reason we need to promote our event is to add credibility to our organization, recruit golfers and give exposure to our sponsors. We do not need to spend a lot of money on marketing our event but it does need to be cost effective.

The two main themes that we need to remember when promoting tournaments are quality and target marketing.

QUALITY
In all of your promotion and marketing the key is to present yourself as a first class event. There are too many efforts that are not first class and you want your golfers and sponsors to come back year after year. They will happen if you present a quality event. Invest in a graphic artist to design your logo, website and collateral. Establish your brand by ensuring that all of your event material utilizes this format consistently. This process will get you more sponsors and offer something that you are proud of.  

TARGET MARKETING
Focus your marketing efforts on a specific group. It is easier to get your arms around an industry than trying to mass market. Trying to reach the masses becomes expensive and there will be a lot of waste. Pick out one industry and go after it. This will allow you to get more specific sponsors that want to reach this group.    

PROMOTION IDEAS
Here are some different ways that you can promote your events.

Website – Every tournament needs a quality website. It shows that you are real. Most people go online and a website gives you the opportunity to tell the whole story and allows you to give sponsors more exposure. A website will also help you streamline the golfer registration process and provide you with blast email capabilities.

Internet and Social Media – Social media sites such asFacebook, Twitter, Linkedin and You Tube enable you to maximize exposure. You will reach friends, family and neighbors when applied properly. The best part is that it is free. You can spend money on social media but if you have a well-connected committee you can still maximize your reach with contacts.  

Blast Emails – The bigger your reach the more exposure you will receive. Build a complete database with golfers and sponsors. You can reach them regularly and it too is free.  

Advertising – Placing ads in magazines, newspapers, tv and radio can work if it is a targeted market. Make sure that you are not wasting circulation. The best idea is to get a media partner that will promote your event for free. 

Brochure – A quality full color brochure is a great tool to recruit golfers. If it is well designed and distributed to the right group, you can use it as a sign up tool. An email brochure can also be sent out. But remember that a follow up phone call is key.

Promotion – There are hundreds of types of promotions. You can do early bird specials, group discounts, add products to sign up and sponsor give a way’s. Pull your committee together and get creative.  

Networking – This is the most valuable tool that you have. Golfers and sponsors get on board through a relationship. Send out your committee to get involved in the community. Go to mixers, open houses, conferences and seminars. Meet people and get the word out. That is how you recruit golfers and sell sponsors.

Public Relations – PR is editorial coverage in the media. The media is always looking for good content and news worthy information. Find a unique twist to your event and organization and get the media excited. Media coverage is very valuable to your organization. 

FREE PUBLICITY - There are many other ways to get PR for your tournament and organization.  Here are just a few.
  • Press Release – Information sent to all media.
  • Grocery Bag Stuffers – Flyers printed and given to Grocer’s to hand out.
  • Free Billboard Coverage – Contact billboard companies one year in advance and ask for free exposure.
  • Posters & Displays in Banks and PublicBuildings – Print up display board and ask to display it in lobbies, cafeterias, and retail outlets.
  • Letters to Editors – Have friends send letters to newspaper editors.
  • Surveys – Do surveys of golfers.
  • Luncheons – Have luncheons explaining your group and event.
  • Speeches at Civic Groups – They look for speakers.
  • Public Service Announcements – Announcements sent to the media.
  • Radio Contests – Give away spots in the tournament.
  • Participation in Telethons – Get involved in outside activities.
Working with the Media
If you present a press release, try to be unique to ensure your release is chosen and not lost in the sea of news the media gets every day. But remember to follow up with a phone call. Here are some key ideas to get media coverage.  Try every idea.

Unique Concept – Come up with an idea that is rarely presented, like snow golfing.

Celebrity Participants – Any celebrity is a good celebrity.  Let the media know.  They like to talk about their own.

Offer Different Prizes – Try to get Touring Pro’s that live in your area.

World Records Set – Think of some record that can be broken, like fastest round of golf ever played.

PSA’s – Public Service Announcements
Send out in advance a brief description of your event and your organization to all of the radio stations.  Many times they will announce your event.  For better results, follow up with phone calls. 

Promotion is an integral essential part of your event. Put together a detailed promotion and marketing plan and you will reach more golfers and get more exposure for your sponsors.  

SAMPLE MARKETING PLAN
Direct mail                                          Blast e-mails
Press Release                                       Local Newspapers
Letters to donors                                 Telemarketing Campaign
Radio                                                  Networking
Partnerships

TOURNAMENT NAME
The name of your event is very important in the marketing process. A good name can make your objective clear. Typically your event name will give your Title Sponsor exposure. A unique name can gain the media’s attention. Brainstorm on the name of your event and make a list of all possible tournament names and write down several variations of potential names. Take a vote on the best names and go with the winner.  Here are some ideas:

Typical Tournament Names
Annual Fund Raiser                                        Pro-Am Classic
Celebrity Classic                                             Charity Tournament
Memorial Scholarship

Unique Tournament Names
Take a Swing against Domestic Violence       Aid to Adoption for Special
Mundus Triple Threat Open                            Duffers for Dare
Swing for Sight                                               Champions for Charity
Day on the Green                                            Tee Off for Humanity
 

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