Given their popularity and high revenue potential, golf events are excellent opportunities for nonprofits and businesses alike. Nonprofits can meet their annual fundraising goals and businesses can promote their brand to an affluent market. These events are also great for colleges and offer the opportunity for amateur golfers to showcase their talent. Here are a few tips to ensure golf tournament success:
The key to any successful event is careful, advanced planning. Begin months prior to the event-a year in advance if possible. Write lists outlining everything you need for the event, sponsors to approach, potential golfers who could participate. Think of every possible eventuality and make backup plans for your backup plans. Create a budget and clearly designate funds to certain projects. Be specific. Instead of simply allocating $500 to “marketing,” define the exact strategies and how much each tactic costs.
Have A Dedicated Committee
It is crucial to have a set of board members and/or volunteers who are fully dedicated to the event. Assign specific duties and get their commitment to complete these tasks. Encourage commitment with special perks and rewards such as free swag or discounted tickets. Give clear instructions and provide support whenever possible. Play to the strengths of each person involved. Have people team up for large tasks such as acquiring sponsorships. Recruit well-connected individuals who are able to use these ties to further your event’s success.
Develop Marketing Plan
A marketing plan with clear goals and strategies can ensure that your event is noticed. Assess all of your resources and possible opportunities. Do not just write what you want to do, but how you will do it. Who will write the press release? What are the steps for acquiring a PSA (Public Service Announcement) vs. paid advertising? There is nothing worse that creating a great event that no one knows about-make sure that promotion is a priority.
Diversify Your Funding
While sponsorships are an essential source of funding, it should not be the only focus. Create a variety of gameplay formats at different price levels such as a golf-a-thon or a celeb-ams, where local celebrities team up with amateur golfers. Have contests with entry fees and fun prizes. Sell coupons for your sponsors’ goods and/or services. Hold a raffle for a fabulous grand prize or perhaps an auction where participants can bid on a variety of items.
Differentiate From The Competition
Due to golf’s popularity, it is unlikely that you are the only tournament in town. But that’s okay! The key is to highlight what makes you different, to identify why your event is worth people’s time and financial investment. Perhaps this event supports a unique cause or your organization has an interesting history. Maybe your tournament features a certain professional golfer or exceptional prizes. Find that special something that helps your event stand out against the competition and highlight it.
Although golf tournaments are lucrative opportunities, they are also time intensive and expensive. Carefully assess your organization’s resources as well as your target market.