Tournament Marketing...Greed is Good
know, golf tournaments are excellent ways to develop corporate
contacts, increase sales leads, become an active part of the community
and develop long-term relationships. What they are
also good at is making donations to worthy charities and offsetting
in mind, I remember a quote to inspire golf planners as they work
to increase revenue for their charity or corporation:
point is, ladies and gentleman, that Greed -- for lack of a better
word -- is Good. Greed is right… Greed works… Greed clarifies,
cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge
-- has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
Gekko, “Wall Street,” 1987
put, to be effective, sometimes a corporate or charity golf planner
has to be a little “greedy.”
Gordon Gekko may not have been speaking to golf tournament planners,
what he said applies to us. If we are a little greedy,
we can increase our donations and deliver more revenue for our
charities and corporations by looking for ways to increase revenue
and decrease expenses. While the average charity golf tournament
netted only $5,000, the PGA raised over $1 billion in contributions,
you know there’s a huge potential to drive revenue from our tournaments.
Golf Event Magazine, you’ll see sections devoted to prizes, tee-gifts,
and logistics, but revenue is the key goal of any tournament.
To increase revenue and donations, here is short list of items
you may consider for your next golf event.
look at areas to increase revenue and decrease expenses, to make
your next tournament more profitable. From registration,
to sponsorships and increasing donations and controlling costs,
there are ways to get a little greedy and increase your revenue.
the most important task is to sign up a full field of golfers
for every tournament. With a full field tournament
of 144 golfers, you can charge more for sponsorships, increase
donations, increase results at a silent auction or raffle, and
deliver more revenue.
when was the last time you increased tournament fees?
Once your tournament costs are covered, anything you net over
that is profit, so make sure you are charging enough. You
may want to talk to your golf pro and ask what similar tournaments
charge for their events, as a way to see if you may be undercharging.
You may be able to extend a better rate for foursomes, if you
charge more for individual golfers. If you can increase
your registration by just $50 per golfer, you can net more than
$7200 towards your charity for a full-field tournament.
be sure to ask your current golfers if there is a department in
their company they would like to challenge at a tournament.
You can set up teams to compete with each other. If you
are running a charity fundraiser, promote the fact that the charity
is a 501c3 non-profit group—a check written to the charity is
then a tax-deductible donation for your golfers.
tournaments will recruit a Sponsorship Chairman with a team of
volunteer salespeople dedicated to driving sponsorships and donations.
Sponsorships are the true profit for any tournament, as there
are no expenses attached to them. You’ll keep every dollar
you collect, so a good sponsorship program is critical.
You can sell tee-signs, skill contests, signage on the golf carts,
F&B, the opening continental breakfast and the closing awards
luncheon, all to sponsors who want exposure to your golfers.
Many tournaments even sell their name to two or more non-competitive
companies, who want the exposure and want to be an active part
of the community.
selling sponsors, it’s a good idea to sell more than the standard
tee-signs and pin flags to increase revenue. One sponsor gave
out a dozen logo golf balls to each golfer, after the round
with a thank-you note and a business card. Because
their gift balls were not used that day, the corporate sponsor
received several thank-you notes and business as a result of their
idea is to sell multiple years of sponsorship—why do we sell tournaments
one year at a time, when we can have a guaranteed revenue source
and create demand from other sponsors by selling multiple years?
For higher-priced sponsors, you may sell display tables
at the reception, silent auction items and a closing hole-in-one
contest with an announcement greeting from the sponsor.
that is often overlooked in raising non-profit revenue is soliciting
pure donations for the charity, in exchange for an announcement
at the awards luncheon. If approached correctly, top
sponsors may agree to a challenge match of other donations received
up to a set amount and everything goes to the charity.
the awards luncheon, people appreciate seeing the money presented,
so be sure to invite a representative to the tournament to actually
receive a check. While the “surfboard-sized” check
may be a bit overdone, it is a great way to increase donations
and get some positive public relations. It’s also a great
way to attract local news coverage of the check presentation drive
media attention to your charity.
increasing registrations, sponsorships and donations, the next
step is to minimize your expenses, so you can generate the maximum
revenue for your company or charity. It starts when
you book the tournament—speak with the golf course tournament
director or head pro and ask what teetimes are typically slower
for them, and might be discounted for your group. Most courses
have tournament times available on Mondays and Tuesdays, and sometimes
Friday afternoon is available at a discount. If you
can be flexible about the time and date of the tournament, be
sure to reduce this expense to increase your revenue.
offer to trade your list of golfers for a discount for your tournament.
Many courses are eager to reach new players for tournaments and
individual play, so additional discounts might be discussed by
sharing your roster of 144 players.
area where expenses can appear is in food and beverage.
In this case, you may have a local restaurant or beverage
purveyor supply product, in addition to their standard sponsorship.
Many courses charge a service fee for outside merchandise or product,
but this charge may be reduced or eliminated to help maximize
your donation to charity.
there are lots of ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses,
so you can make the most of your next tournament.
You might go to the website for the Golf Event Managers Association,
and look over the free downloads and forms that are available
to get you started.
With a little
effort, you can make a big difference in growing your revenue
or charitable donation, and by being just a little greedy, you
can prove that Gordon Gekko may have been on to something...
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