The 2015 PGA Championship Golf Major Finds a Younger Audience with Snapchat Live Story

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 83 percent of Americans that partook in a full, 18-round of golf were over 40-years-old last year. The Professional Golfers Association has the highest share of those over 55, with the smallest share of teenagers and pre-30-year-olds than its sports leagues counterparts, per The Atlantic.

Participation and viewership metrics that show golf’s discrepancy with today’s youth isn’t a novel trend.

Instead, the PGA Tour has started to dabble with Snapchat as a platform to counteract the lack of interest from this coveted demographic. The gross number impressions alone that virtually any event generates within this medium, makes it prudent for golf to be involved.

One of their first efforts came earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. They won over fans during the 16th hole, which is known by many as the loudest hole in golf. Considering that almost 8,000 people were around this hole alone, the moment was captured and uploaded through Snapchat’s Our Story feature with the “WM Open” geotag. Just about anything in between, from the PGA Tour athletes to various kinds of fan celebrations, was seen via this prism.

Conversely, the 2015 PGA Championship garnered significant strides in its digital and social media consumption. The official website, PGA.com, operated by Turner Sports, registered a 91 percent surge in live hours usage and a 56 percent boost for its live video views versus last year’s event; the latter’s video streams represented the highest for the PGA Championship to date. And the tournament’s 23 million impressions across Facebook and Twitter accounts spiked by 45 percent over last year.

Still, Turner Sports elected to leverage Snapchat as a key social driver for PGA Championship coverage in order to be where new, emerging audiences are at. Snapchat’s vaunted growth among millennials and kids, who are highly engaged in interacting on the platform, made it a natural fit for them, in terms of a requisite outlet to be a part of the conversation. The PGA is embracing for modern marketing, as evident in the aforementioned foray during one of its previous events.

They have used Snapchat before, with their other properties like March Madness and NBA TV. From those experiences, Turner Sports has been able to learn what type of content resonates, while giving themselves operational latitude. Considering that existing content cannot be imported into Snapchat (like a user can with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), Turner Sports understood that it was important to have a team dedicated to Snapchat on that Saturday–especially since they had so much ground to cover, literally and figuratively. Running snaps on a golf course, there’s a lot more physical space to think of logistics than a basketball arena.

Morgan Dewan, Turner Sports’ Director of Social Media, tells SportTechie their three-prong Snapchat strategy for the 2015 PGA Championship: “Reach new audiences. Try something new. Be able to monetize this platform for future events.”

Turner Sports made sure to utilize all of their platforms (TNT, PGA Championship Live, PGA.com, and social) to cross-promote all of their coverage. They think Snapchat helped complement this by providing a look at the PGA Championship from fans’ perspectives.

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be a golf fan. We feel that this PGA Championship was stacked with talented young golfers that are ushering in a new style of play and popularity: Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth,” believes Dewan, bearing in mind golf’s age issues and in relation to Snapchat’s domain.

“With them, comes a younger audience. Snapchat is just another way to grow the game,” Dewan added.

Snapchat, though, is best equipped to walk thru the deployment process. From Turner Sports’ side, they have a diverse team (social media, production, editorial, sales, and the PGA Championship event team) of dedicated ‘snappers’ that were ready to get great, all-access content from around the course and behind-the-scenes footage. Since PGA.com doesn’t have an owned Snapchat account, they submitted the snaps to the geo-fenced Story.

“In order to keep the Live Story timely and relevant, geofencing is necessary. This allowed Snapchat to curate the best content from on and around the course,” says Dewan.

The 2015 PGA Championship arguably had the best mobile connectivity to date. The PGA is cognizant about trying to take a progressive stance on mobile accessibility and usage, so younger fans can share and socialize about the sport.

By having their TNT and PGA Championship broadcast on the call, Turner Sports had their announcers informing fans about the Snapchat Live Story, which encouraged users to check it out in the app. They took audience, consumption patterns, and duration of content into their content planning and operations for the event. The data-driven, content programming that social media provides allowed them to gauge what’s now and what’s next, with analytics like growth, reach, engagement, consumption, and virality as points of emphasis. All the resources aimed to funnel the conversation back to this activation.

Turner Sports took a swing with Snapchat’s Live Story for the 2015 PGA Championship, the first-ever golf major to offer it to fans–and major step towards engulfing a new generation of fans to the game in a way that appeals to them.

 

Original Story Posted here: http://www.sporttechie.com/2015/08/27/2015-pga-championship-first-ever-golf-major-perform-snapchat-live-story/?utm_source=%23SportsDaily&utm_campaign=27678d1018-HSD_Aug27_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3f77fb2fcb-27678d1018-309843973

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