Generating Revenue for Your Local State Open
Submitted by Devin Dehlin, PGA | Utah PGA
Summary: Utilize Pro-Am’s to generate revenue and increase sponsorable assets for your State Open.
1 .) Briefly describe your involvement with the Utah Open and how it has evolved over the years.
The Utah Open lost its sponsors and was about to go away in 2000. The Utah Section stepped in and took over the event. The first several years the event struggled and cost the Utah Section money to operate the event. The Officers had to decide in 2004 whether to continue or move on. We are grateful the decision was to move forward with it and the last TEN years it has turned into a huge success.The overall budget for the Utah Open is approximately $600,000.
2.) Can you describe the uniqueness of your Pro-Am’s in relation to the Open?
The Pro-Ams we offer at the Utah Open are unique to probably any event in the country. We have grown to EIGHT Pro-Ams morning and afternoon Monday – Thursday leading up to the tournament proper Friday – Sunday. Each Pro-Am has 27 teams in fivesomes. Golf Professionals play in Pro-am as their practice rounds. They are able to make money on both teams and individually during the Pro-Ams. The Professionals are now trying to play as many as we can allow due to the payoffs and the food and beverage and sponsors involvement. Each amateur receives $100 gift card to the Nike/Adidas/ Taylor Made tent that we offer. (We don’t combine companies, but these are companies we have used.) All products are sold to us at %15 off wholesale and we offer to the players at just above wholesale. They get a tremendous value and have a nice variety to choose from. We started this in 2009 and this has been one of the best things we ever did to help retain sponsors. Instead of the typical tee prizes of shirts, hats, bags, etc... They are able to shop for the product they want. We bring in $150,000 plus in inventory for the week.
3.) What is your strategy for obtaining and retaining sponsors?
The sponsorships range from $65,000 plus for our Title sponsor all the way down to $3,000 for a small sponsor. We have retained our sponsors through the Pro-Am teams they receive. A presenting sponsor would have up to 15 teams in a Pro-Am that is titled with their name. I will send you an idea of Pro-Am spots in a spread sheet. The product we provide with tee gifts, golf course and the high end food and beverage as made it possible to retain our sponsors year after year.
4.) Do you have any unique relationships/sponsorships?
The Utah Open has allowed us to create revenue from the Utah Open Sponsors in many other areas. We have been able to parlay additional funds for junior golf and other Section events. We have seen an additional $30k to $50k in other areas directly generated by the Utah Open. We also have had two of the presenting sponsors come on our board as independent directors and help us raise funds for junior golf and our foundation.
5.) Please provide any additional thoughts for how this may benefit other Sections.
I could go on and on about the Utah Open and what it has done for our Section and the state of Utah. The Utah Open is the biggest community event in the golf world that happens each year. It’s much more than a golf tournament as we have touched the main players in the sponsorship world that help us in so many areas. The charity Special Olympics has been unique to this event as we have their athletes and volunteers help administer the event. The players and sponsors love the interaction with the Special Olympic athletes. We have deep relationships with the players and those with Special Olympics. We hold a Special Olympics challenge each year as part of the day one media day and Pro-Ams. We have a Special Olympic athlete and a media or professional athlete play an alternate shot short game challenge. This is always the area we get the most media attention and press each year.