By Barry Janoff
April 3, 2014: In light of the fact that Tiger Woods will not play in The Masters due to back surgery and that a major golf association recently released statistics that show a decline in the number of people who play golf, the PGA of America wants you to know that not being perfect is alright by them.
A new campaign, "Perfect Day," depicts people on the golf course with imperfect swings, hitting balls off course, practically living in sand traps and missing what should be "gimme" putts. What they also have in common is that they are enjoying themselves.
"Out here, every day is perfect, even if you're not," intones a voiceover, played out to Dean Martin singing, "Open Up The Door, Let The Good Times In."
"Intimidation is one of the key barriers for participation in golf," Kevin Ring, CMO for PGA of America, said in a statement. "That barrier and the myth that all golfers are 'good' are what we plan to break down through this campaign — with targeted messages that engage golfers and non-golfers."
The effort is aimed toward former and non-golfers and comes on the heels of a report from the National Golf Foundation showing that five million fewer people are now playing golf in the U.S. versus a decade ago, that golf participation among 18-34-year olds has declined 30% during that same period and that in 2013, for the eighth consecutive year, more golf courses closed than were opened in the U.S.
Stats also show that TV viewing is soft when Woods does not participate in an event and that interest in golf wanes among non-core golf fans. Woods said he would miss The Masters this month — and could be out three-four or more months — following surgery.
Although it's new campaign is humorous, the PGA of America is taking the situation seriously. Among other activations, the group has compiled a Task Force "to grown the game through non-traditional means." The Task Force includes world champion skier Bode Miller, former NFL defensive back Melvin Bullitt and Arien Kantarian, former CEO for the U.S. Tennis Assn.
The "Perfect Day" effort also is seeking to reach people using some non-traditional methods. The media buy "will include non-golfer channels targeting consumers identified as likely to pick up the game," according to the PGA of America, including Living Social, Food Network, HGTV, CNN.com, Bleacher Report, Men's Health, Women's Health and Fast Company.
The PGA of America said it would also work with its strategic media partners to get out the message, including SiriusXM, PGA.com, Golf Channel, CBS, NBC, TNT and Golfweek.
Two spots are scheduled to run during the events overseen by the PGA of America, including the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. (See "Perfect Day 1" and "Perfect Day 2".)
Support includes Internet and social media.
Media value for the campaign was put at $6 million, according to the PGA of America. Lead agency is Ammirati, NY.
The campaign comes with a call to action, encouraging people to "get in the game with five lessons starting at $99 at GetGolfReady.com, a player development program endorsed by the golf industry and operated by the PGA. of America.
"The campaign is based on a simple consumer truth: golf is intimidating to new players," Kristen Rumble, vp-account services and partner at Ammirati, said in a statement. "We are chipping away at that intimidation by showing real players enjoying real golf moments, perfect or otherwise, while still having fun. By showing golf through this honest lens, more people will be compelled to pick up the sport."
"The myth that all golfers are 'good' [is] what we plan to break down through this campaign, with targeted messages that engage golfers and non-golfers."
According to Kevin Ring, "Ultimately, we want all players to get past the fear and to realize that no matter your skill level, golf is an activity that truly anyone can enjoy."
PGA of America marketing partners include PepsiCo (Aquafina, Gatorade, Pepsi), KitchenAid, Belvedere, OfficeMax, Moet & Chandon, Lipton Tea and Westin.
PGA of America, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is comprised of some 27,000 men and women who are involved with golf as pros, coaches, teachers and other aspects.
PGA of America Launches Task Force To Reverse Downward Trend
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