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Golf tournaments have become a very popular way for charity to raise money. Probably the number one reason why most companies support a tournament is an affinity for the cause. But in addition to supporting a worthy cause, golf tournament sponsorship represents an opportunity for effective advertising. This article contains some anecdotal evidence to support this theory.

At a golf tournament a while ago, I happened to be on the same foursome and share a cart with one of that tournament’s major sponsors. This fellow was a marketing manager for a car dealership. His rather enviable job description included playing in tournaments that the company sponsored, which through the summer months amounted to about two or three a week. Of course, he had some other responsibilities like making sure the cars from the dealership were displayed properly and the gift bags his company sponsored got to every golfer. So it was a long day for him, showing up well before the tournament started and leaving long after the last after dinner speech was made. But even so, he still got to golf as major part of his job. He had a hard time garnering any sympathy from our group.

As we talked throughout the day, I learned that his job of playing golf had not come about by accident. A few years earlier, he had done some extensive research and analysis of the company’s advertising budgets, their media exposure and the cost effectiveness of the various types of promotion they were undertaking at the time. This analysis resulted in the very conscious and deliberate decision to drop their media advertising and focus their budget on event sponsorship.

In other words, they found that the caps and shirts they gave away at each golf tournament, the cars they had on display at hole-in-one and other contest holes, their logo on the program and on signs located around the golf tournament, and their name on the sponsor list in the paper and on the tournament website, and so on, resulted in more exposure and more people showing up at the dealership when shopping for a car, than the ads they used to run in the paper and on radio and television.

He would not divulge any numbers, but I can imagine what a major car dealership in a city of over a million would spend on advertising in a year. It would be millions of dollars. To divert this budget to sponsorships was a major decision. Given the money involved, I believe him when he talked about the homework they did before making the decision and the research they did on an ongoing basis to monitor the effectiveness of their expenditure.

He believed the strategy of sponsoring golf tournaments and other events was effective for a number of reasons. They appeared to be more a part of the community if they were associated with local causes and organizations. This elevated the perception of trust in the minds of consumers. The prizes and gifts they gave away, like caps and shirts, displayed their company logo to far more people for far longer, with that positive association, than any form of media advertising. And they could target their audience very carefully and specifically.

So when a charity calls asking your company for sponsorship of its golf tournament, think about supporting the cause, but also think about the win-win that can be accomplished by strategic placement of some of your promotion budget into golf tournament sponsorship.

Ron Strand is a part-time Instructor at the Centre for Communication Studies at Mount Royal College and the President of Strateo Consulting Inc. – a strategic marketing and communications consulting firm.

Sponsorships for a non pro rider?

Does anyone have them? I want to show Open and eventually AQHA. I’m too old for 4H if there was anything in that club. Is there a way to get financial help in turn for advertising?

Has anyone gone out and had a tack shop or small business equine or non-equine related place sponsor them?

I found this website and it got me thinking about it! It would be a great help to me now because I’ll be purchasing my first horse/first show horse!
I am not in 4H

Ive been sponsored before.. But i suggest you start ridding AQHA first.. Nothing against 4H however AQHA is sooooo much bigger and theres alot that goes on there. Any good sponsor isnt going to take in people that are bran new to the circuit and never rode it before- They want to see what you can do.. And keep in mind that if you really do what to ride for someone– Thats going to be alot of your time. You have to represent them, so they expect you to go to ALL major shows and PLACE TOP FIVE. That means Congress, all the AQHA worlds and stuff.. I rode APHA and did the Pint world.. I was bitched at when i placed 4th in the world on a 3 year old in hunter under saddle– Its demanding and comes with alot of drama –Ps I dont think anyone sponsors Open shows.. im not sure tho.

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