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UT NEWS & Updates

PGA Events & Social Media Integration v2

Posted by Team UT on September 30th, 2014   Interactive, Social Media, Sports Marketing

With the 2013-14 PGA season now complete we take an audit of the events to see how they’re promoting and integrating social media on their websites.

This focus of this audit is strictly on the event websites: how they promote and integrate social media on the website. Throughout the season we tracked each of the event’s websites during their week of play, and we rechecked our findings on September 25-26, 2014. To view last year’s audit (click here).



Event Key Findings

Total # of Social Channels Integrated:
In the last year, the number of total official channels promoted on the event websites went up from 90 to 111.

Event Activation by Channel on Website:

  • Facebook – 39
  • Twitter – 39
  • Instagram – 16
  • YouTube – 11
  • Pinterest – 3
  • Google+ – 3

Event Channel Breakdown:


Events Promoting the Most Activations:

  • 5 – Northern Trust Open, HP Byron Nelson Championship
  • 4 – Shriners Hospital for Children Open, McGladrey Classic, WM Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational, Memorial Tournament
Event Site Notes

Frys.com Open – Attention to Detail
Frys includes YouTube and Instagram icon links, but YouTube hasn’t been updated in 3 years and the Instagram icon link goes to their Twitter account. Their actual Instagram account was created in 2012 and has a total of 6 posts (1 each in 2014 and 2013). Also of note their FB page’s Twitter app doesn’t work, and their Instagram profile notes: “The excitement returns October 8-14, 2012.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Social Activations
Exception to the post – Shriners is being profile about their activations for the 2014-15 schedule. The PGA officially starts the new season after the Ryder cup: http://www.shrinershospitalsopen.com/WhatsYourTradition

Shriners have a social-based initiative around the “What’s Your Tradition” question posed to fans. Really like the engagement idea, but the execution on the site needs some work. They should create a gallery of fan responses to amplify it and showcase fans better: http://www.shrinershospitalsopen.com/FanExperience/HyundaiSonataSocialLounge

They also have a concept we’re seeing more on the PGA Tour – their sponsor Hyundai will have a social media lounge setup at the 15th hole. Details are a little vague from the page profile, but we’re interested to see if any photos are posted to get a better idea of what they’re offering.

CIMB Classic – SM Promotion
See this on a lot of pro team sites, why wouldn’t you promote your channels on the site. CIMB hides their promotion of their Twitter account in the Contact Us section – should be right next to the Facebook icon in the universal navigation. (Haven’t updated their Twitter account since last year’s event – not good).

HSBC – Social Stone Ages
Amazingly HSBC is one four events that don’t include any social media integration on their website.

OHL Classic – SM Feed
They include a feed that is somewhat hard to read due to a blue background. They added an Instagram account that was not active when the event was played on the 2014 schedule, but it won’t count on our listings for this season.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Along with the Tour Championship, Hyundai is the only event to not have an official website. Instead it relies on the PGATour.com Tournament Overview page:

The page does promote the event’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, but overall you have to ask the same sponsor value question as the Tour Championship for Hyundai with their strategy of not having a proper event website.

WM Phoenix Open – Instagram Promo
This post isn’t about the social strategies of the events, but I happened to see this Instagram promo the WM was running in researching their site back in February. They ran it during each round of the event.

Northern Trust Open – Channel Focus
Congrats to the NT Open for removing their Pinterest channel, in last year’s review I noted it wasn’t updated properly and they have now removed promotion of it on their site and the account itself. The NT Open promotes a total of five accounts (the most along with the Byron Nelson), but in reality the only have four because their YouTube link goes to the PGA account.

Arnold Palmer Invitational – Facebook Photos
Still the only event to link out to Facebook Photos for their photo gallery.

They are one of three (Byron Nelson and Crowne Plaza) to promote Google+, but their last post was in April.

WGC Cadillac Championship – Feed Issues
Good example of how you don’t want to integrate social on your site:

The Masters – Missed Opportunity
The Masters is the pinnacle golf event, but unfortunately the Masters has no social integration on their website. For more details check out this review posted from April.

Wells Fargo Championship – Attention to Detail
One of only three  events promoting a Pinterest channel, but they haven’t updated it in 42 weeks. The Instagram link goes to a Facebook App page feed which doesn’t work.

ATT Byron Nelson Championship – Branding Issues
The ATTBNC recently was the HPBNC, and there all kinds of issues with their social channels:

  • Facebook goes to the /HPNBC page which is still live. Instagram App Feed links to wrong account.
  • Twitter goes to /HPBNC which is now “Make Cash”.
  • Instagram goes to /HPByronNelson which is inactive.
  • YouTube goes to /HPBNC which hasn’t been updated in a year.
  • G+ goes to a non-username account which does have the correct name, except for a snafu on 09.17 which still lists the page as HP. About Page also lists social incorrect links.

Good lesson here about integrating the sponsor name into you social handles, if/when they leave it’s a branding nightmare.

Crowne Plaza Invitational – Feed Issues
The event includes a Twitter feed module on the Home Page, but it doesn’t include timestamps for the Tweets, and in fact the feed is outdated.

The Memorial Tournament – PGA Standard
On the PGA Tour, The Memorial has set the standard for social media integration – read our 2014 review here.

*Of note the YouTube universal icon link goes to a 2012 video of Tiger, when it should go to the most recent 2014 video of Jack.

US Open
For details on their social efforts check out this profile we posted in June.

British Open
For details on their social efforts check out this profile we posted in July.

Greenbrier Classic – Hashtag
Like that the GBC includes the #GreenbrierClassic hashtag on their SM listings for Twitter and Instagram, would recommend they give it more exposure by including a full graphic footer as well. Every event that uses a consistent hashtag should do the same.

RBC Canadian Open & Wyndham – Channel Focus
They were the only two events to promote a Flickr channel last year, but both accounts were inactive. Good to see both drop promotion of the channel this year.

Barracuda Championship – Complete Disarray
For starters BarracudaChampionship redirects to RenoTahoeOpen.com – no way that happens if I’m in charge of sponsorship for Barracuda Networks. Next up they promote a Flickr account that has been inactive for years. The YouTube link goes to a Ren-Tahoe search listing instead of the Barracuda highlights. The Twitter link goes to a dead Reno_Tahoe_Open link. Pinterest goes to a correctly branded username, but the first board is titled: Views of Reno-Tahoe Open. Facebook did go to a properly branded username.

PGA Championship
For details on their social efforts check out this profile we posted in August.

Wyndham Championship – Social Feed
Somewhat hidden on the Home Page below the SM icons is an Open link which shows a clean feed of their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

BMW Championship – Confusion and Hub
On the Home Page they link to the wrong Facebook account, and the Hub is a confusing puzzle feed. Also no link to their Twitter account on the site.

Tour Championship – Branding Mystery
I get that this is the Tour’s event and they want to promote their own digital solution, but the template event site provides absolutely nothing to sponsor Coca-Cola. Incredible that as savvy as Coke is at marketing that they allow this to happen – missing a huge opportunity.

Ryder Cup – Lacking Creativity
Nothing has really changed in the 2 years since the last event was held (read our 2012 review).  The US side dropped the 13th man activation (it’s still live though – http://www.rydercup.com/usa/13th-man), and the Euros added a Social Feed section – http://social.rydercupeurope.com/.

Websites that should be redone:
These event sites need to be redesigned: content architecture and design.

http://www.renotahoeopen.com/ (ie the Barracuda Championship)


*For inquiries on how UnCommon Thinking can help improve your team’s social media integration strategy please contact us at info@uncommonthinking.com

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