The McGladrey Classic


Florida boasts over 1,200 golf courses that play host to over nearly 59 million rounds annually, with 33% by out of state visitors, 14% by non-local Florida residents, and 54% by local residents.

Decision-making in professional golf is made in Florida as the PGA is headquartered in West Palm Beach, the LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach and the PGA Tour headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Why McGladrey Sponsors A PGA Event

This November, The 2013 McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Resort in southeast Georgia will host a week of events including two Pro-Am days, a Community Day, a Youth Day, a Wiffle Ball Classic with PGA wives, a Charity Putting event, a live concert, along with the PGA tournament.

McGladrey, an Accounting Firm based in Chicago, first sponsored the event in 2009 in an effort to build brand awareness and establish itself as a leader in consulting to medium sized businesses.

“We’re trying to become the first-choice adviser for middle-market companies and were thinking, where do we put our limited dollars for brand awareness?” said McGladrey CEO Joe Adams. “We decided to pull the trigger (on the tournament sponsorship), and we’ve been extremely happy with the results.”

Sponsoring the PGA Fall Series tournament, which Mr. Adams says is the company’s largest single marketing expense of the year — he wouldn’t disclose exactly how much — costs an estimated $4 million to $5 million annually, according sponsorship experts, slightly less than average for summer PGA events that attract the world’s top-ranked players.

But that’s the right fit for the world’s fifth-largest accounting firm by revenue, says Mr. Adams, who points to the value of controlling the client entertainment experience that comes with being a title sponsor, as opposed to being one of many official sponsors for a larger event.

“We evaluated alternatives in advertising, and our best target audience was reached through golf at the C-suite level,” he said.

The company, whose Chicago clients are primarily private equity firms including LaSalle Capital Group, Wynnchurch Capital and CHS Capital, among others, hosts three “waves” of clients during the week.

“If it’s your tournament, you have more flexibility on things like getting your players in the Pro-Am event and making sure you’ve got the best tent on the 18th hole,” said Jim Andrews, senior vice president at Chicago-based sports marketing firm IEG. “It probably doesn’t make sense for (McGladrey) to go with a tournament on network television with the kinds of costs that come with that. They don’t need exposure to those types of viewers.”



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