UT NEWS & Updates

PGA Events & Social Media Integration

Posted by Team UT on September 27th, 2013   Social Media, Sports Marketing

With the 2013 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, 2013.


Event Key Findings

Total # of SM Channels Integrated:
The tour event websites combined for a total of 90 official channel integrations.


Event Activation by Channel on Website:

  • Facebook – 34
  • Twitter – 32
  • Instagram – 9
  • YouTube – 7
  • Pinterest – 4
  • Flickr – 2
  • Foursquare – 1
  • Google+ – 1


Event Channel Breakdown:

*Reminder this is website integration


Events Promoting the Most Activations:
6 – Wyndham Championship
5 – HP Byron Nelson Championship
4 – Wells Fargo Championship, The Greenbrier Classic, Sanderson Farms Championship


World Golf Championship Event Sites
A template is used for the three 2013 event sites, and unfortunately they don’t include any social integration:

At the very least you would think they could add universal icons in the header or footer. Quick search found these channels that could have been promoted:


PGA Major Championship Sites
Interesting to note that from the PGA’s schedule for the Majors they link to the PGA’s own template event sites, and not the official websites. The template does not include any social integration.


FedEx Cup Events
Similar to the Majors, from the PGA schedule the FedEx Cup events link to the PGA’s own template event websites, but they don’t promote any of the event social channels – except for the BMW which does promote the event’s Facebook page:
http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/bmw-championship.html (promotes Facebook)

All events except the Tour Championship do have their own official websites. It’s a different conversation, but from a sponsor point-of-view, a properly done website with full branding exposure and social media integration would appear to be a more valuable solution for Coca-Cola. Quick search finds the event does have accounts on Facebook and Instagram:


PGA Social Hub
The PGA recently added a Social Hub under their “Fans” section, and during the FedEx Cup their Social Hub changes to promote social activity by event:


In reviewing the sites, a lot of events integrate individual videos from the PGA Tour account so that may be the best strategy for events if they don’t have the manpower to do original video content and properly manage a dedicated channel (only 7 events have a dedicated channel). Our recommendation would be to still setup a dedicated event channel and use the PGA Tour videos via a playlist.


Universal Icons
Only 29 of the 40 events included universal icons.


SM Navigation
Only one event included a social media-related section in the main navigation, the Memorial Tournament – “Stay Connected”. The following events included a sub-nav link:

  • Northern Trust Open – Stay Connected
  • Honda Classic – Social Media
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational – Facebook, Twitter
  • US Open – Social Connection
  • The Greenbrier Classic – Social Media
  • Reno Tahoe Open – Follow the Reno-Tahoe Open
  • Wyndham Championship – Social Media


Event Site Notes:

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.


Waste Management Phoenix Open

  • Includes “Stay Connected” text link in the header that opens a pop-up box with icon links, but there’s no real call to action to it, and why make fans click to see your social channel icon links?
  • Recently added Instagram link to the SM icon links, but the account shows 9 photos posted on July 25th. Their event took place Jan 31 – Feb 3???


Northern Trust Open – Pinterest
One of only 4 events sites to promote a Pinterest account, but then you click on it and they shouldn’t even get credit for having the account:

  • Last Pin posted was 31 weeks ago.
  • Two boards have no pins, and one has one pin.
  • Random “Saturday” board has 3 pin.


Honda Classic – Rewards Program
The Honda Classic was the only event to promote a social rewards program “The Classic Caravan” tied to Twitter and Facebook: http://www.thehondaclassic.com/media/social-media/  The Leaderboard is empty so not sure when this program actually runs: http://thehondaclassic.socialtoaster.com/


Arnold Palmer Invitational – Facebook Photo Album
Under the site’s main nav “Media” section, they include a Facebook icon link for Photo Albums – first time we’ve seen this strategy on an event or team website.


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 – Instagram & Pinterest
Different spin on their Instagram link, it goes to their Facebook app page feed instead of the main account: https://www.facebook.com/WellsFargoChampionship?ref=ts&sk=app_267091300008193

  • Last photo was May 5th of the trophy asking who will take it home, but no winner photo?

As for their Pinterest account, the last pin was posted 25 weeks ago, and the Champions Gallery does not include this year’s winner: http://www.pinterest.com/wellsfargogolf/


Players Championship
The Players also uses on the PGA template website format, and here’s a review we did in May on the event’s social efforts.


HP Byron Nelson Championship – Google+
The Byron Nelson is the only event to promote a Google+ account. They’ve made no posts since May 15th (ie nothing during or after the event). Via the PGA Tour + account they did have the Tournament Director do a hangout on May 14th.


Memorial Tournament – Best Practice Example
The Memorial did a great job with their social integration this year and can be seen as a best practice model for other events:

  • Only event to include a social media main nav section – Stay Connected
  • Clearly promotes social throughout the site
  • Profiles Onsite Social Media Activation
  • Only event to have a social hub “Social Leaderboard” – only event to include a Field social directory, and promotes their sponsor with a dedicated feed.

The one mistake they made was the universal YouTube icon link goes to a PGA Tour account video from Nov. 2012. Even though they don’t have an official YouTube account they do a pretty good job with integration of the channel: http://www.thememorialtournament.com/media/videos/

For more details check out this profile we posted in May.


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.


Sanderson Farms Championship
They did a good job cross-promoting their social efforts on Instagram – check out the previous British Open review for more details.

Side-note: They have a YouTube account, but don’t promote the channel on their site other than an embedded video. They only have the one video upload so perhaps a wise decision to not call more attention to the channel until it’s more populated.


Reno-Tahoe Open – Flickr
One of two events that promote a Flickr channel, but they really shouldn’t get credit for it, because it hasn’t been updated since the 2011 event.

Side-Note: They have their own YouTube channel, but the universal icon link goes to a search results page.


Wyndham Championship
The Wyndham was the only event to promote a Foursquare event: https://foursquare.com/wyndhamchamp

They promote a Flickr account in their SM Directory, but it hasn’t been updated since 2011.

Case for you using PGA Tour playlist – they uploaded a video to their YouTube channel one month ago, but prior to that most recent upload was 2 years ago.

They were the only event to promote Infographics (per round), and although they lack the creativity many will have seen in other examples, credit to the event for trying this initiative:


Deutsche Bank Championship
The site includes icon links for Pinterest and Linkedin, but they go to error pages.


*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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