We might still be dealing with moving snow off the driveway, but if you want to get a good chunk of GOLF business, better start working on that now.
According to the Golf Tournament Association of America, there will be more than a million golf outings and tournaments this year. That is an average of 50 events for each golf course. If there ever is a situation made for promotional products, it is golf outings.
A “sell out” is 144 golfers participating. Larger events might have two sessions to accommodate the payers. Typically there are 40 to 80 players. The modest numbers are perfect for apparel, hats, high-end sports bottles and dozens of other items. Some events have “welcome” packs as well as departing gift bags. These represent perfect opportunities for sponsorships. Typically a sponsor will pay for the items and pay a fee to the event for the distribution.
Sponsors may fund special awards and/or trophies for notable achievements.
Many golf outings are primarily for corporate team building. They may be stand alone events or part of a convention, sales meeting or other celebration. They may also be affiliated with a charity or might be a charity fundraising not being sponsored by a corporation. Regardless of the reason for the golf outing, there is one aspect that is absolutely essential - volunteers! Generally one volunteer is needed to coordinate each part of the event, publicity, catering, sales (sponsorships), decorations, transportation, reservations, signage, parking, etc., and as many volunteer staff as are necessary to handle the tasks.
Volunteer gift packages with hats, shirts, water bottles, umbrellas, sunscreen and more, represent another significant area for you to get involved. Events may also have a “gift shop” set up to sell the same articles that players and volunteers receive. Not every golf course allows this, but many do.
As with most things in business, who you know is most important. The top competitor for promotional logoed merchandise is the golf courses themselves. Some work with distributors and others are actually distributors too. When the outing is a charity fundraising event, the golf courses can provide a nearly “Turn Key” event that only requires the charity to recruit golfers. It is the corporate events that have the most possibilities for us.
The very first thing for you to do is to check with your current corporate customers to see if they will be hosting or participating in an event this year. Also ask about any golf outings they attended last year as these events tend to be annual. Next, do a little research (online) looking for golf outing articles on local business news sites/newspapers from last year.
Golf courses tend to have online calendars where people can reserve tee times. Golf outings are shown on those calendars many months in advance in some cases.
Finally, talk to any associates that you know to be a “Golf Nut”. They might have participated in several outings in the past and can advise who might be on the links again this year.
Securing golf outing business is worth the effort for the immediate business and the future business as well. Remember that most golf outings are annual!