Every Best.Day.Ever. team member chomps at the bit to increase their sports and entertainment expertise. I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a webinar from Front Office Sports, “How the PGA TOUR Drives Digital Engagement,” which offered a perfect opportunity to gain valuable insight from top leaders within the industry.
With guests Scott Gutterman, SVP of PGA TOUR Digital Operations, and Phil Sharpe of iX.com, a TOUR and Front Office Sports sponsor, the event focused on evolving fan habits, media engagement and highlighted the TOUR’s overall digital strategy. While I encourage you to watch this webinar from start to finish, below are some of my favorite takeaways from Scott and Phil’s discussion.
On changes made during the pandemic…
By creating a mobile app that’s flexible and adaptable to change, the TOUR is provided with unprecedented insight into data such as what people are watching and through what platforms. Based on this information, they’ve been able to categorize in what ways each fan identifies with a brand or sport – and in return, can provide more experiences that speak directly to app users on a personal level.
On meeting Fan Council needs…
Made up of 5,000 people and run by the TOUR’s Marketing and Digital teams, the Fan Council provides reliable feedback on various projects ranging from campaigns to content. Following in the footsteps of NASCAR’s Fan Council has paid off in fan development and discovery while reinforcing their fan-first mindset. Here’s an example of the outcome that stems from such feedback.
Sneak peek at changes coming to the @PGATOUR phone apps after The Masters. New approach to navigation based on Fan Council feedback and review of fan consumption analytics. Team is putting the updates through final testing phases. More to come soon. pic.twitter.com/O6N1ygdaHA
— Scott Gutterman (@Scott_Gutterman) April 7, 2019
On advice for businesses with minimal resources…
Clients and fans both have high expectations – they expect you to be a specialist in your field. Make sure to provide examples of your expertise within your industry, establishing a sense of credibility among your fans and consumers. In order to secure such examples, your business needs to establish a well-defined process built to determine the actual value created from the work you do. If you do not have the resources to do this, it is imperative to find a partner who will help you build a tracking system to keep you honest and accountable.
On “Every Shot Live”…
Launched during the four-day Players Championship tournament two weeks ago, “Every Shot Live” provided fans with access to every single move executed– approximately 8,000 – 10,000 shots per day. Each live stream will have a digital and graphic content producer and natural audio clips such as player conversations. The TOUR hopes to showcase different and new personalities to engage fans by providing commentary and presenting their point of view.
Every Shot Live. ✔️
PGA TOUR LIVE. ✔️
Here’s how to watch @THEPLAYERSChamp Final Round.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 14, 2021
On new distribution methods/impact on the traditional viewer…
When determining how the TOUR will distribute their unique content, valuable information was found on their owned and operated platforms. For example, they showed that if a user will “favorite” a player, they are 10x more likely to return regularly. Statistics like these are valuable assets to both the TOUR and sponsors equally – providing clear proof of client engagement.
The PGA is introducing TOURPulse, a leaderboard that combines traditional scoring with artificial intelligence-created content that gives fans real-time descriptions of every shot by each player.https://t.co/rihUGfXdI5
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) August 20, 2020
On the WHOOP Band and what’s next…
The PGA TOUR partnered with WHOOP early on in the pandemic, making it clear that live data streaming experiences are at the heart of what the TOUR is doing. Built on the framework of AI and ML, this partnership offers the TOUR access into exciting content areas while providing data in real-time. Now that 5G environments are becoming more common, there is tremendous potential for lesser-known brands to automate their content and create personalized experiences for each individual.
— WHOOP (@whoop) March 17, 2021
On the demand for “simple engagements”…
Including fan engagement initiatives in their mobile apps will allow the TOUR to drop sponsored or branded content into that environment. Clients are increasingly demanding “simple engagements” from third-party companies who have built stand-alone or integrated engagement products. These products provide a new level of interaction for TOUR fans, while also adding new and unique opportunities for sponsors to engage.
Digital initiatives should holistically comprise everything from marketing to event management. Businesses should be building adaptable platforms that are nimble and embrace new technology, concepts, and changes in fan engagement. If you need help along the way, never fear – the Best.Day.Ever. team is here to help! Click the button below to contact us.