Can the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions engage its fans?

By: July 3, 2018

The 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions will take place between 25th to 28th October at Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai. I think many of you would ask Justin Rose if he can defend his championship title not.

After winning the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions, Justin Rose moved from the 13th place to the 3rd in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Li Haotong, a two-time winner on the European Tour, will also be in Shanghai as China’s No.1 player. The prize will be $10 million USD. The winner will get $1,700,000 USD.

What I am happy to hear that the organizers of the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions will use such technologies like Virtual Reality technology (to the new Lakeside area boasting a spectator viewing platform with premium sightlines of the 2nd and 9th greens).

Did you know that the PGA Tour and Intel (live VR experience with Intel True VR technology) signed an exclusive relationship to produce and globally distribute live virtual reality (VR) and live 360 videos at six PGA TOUR events in 2017 and 2018?

2018 WGC-HSBC Champions

This is why I thought to compose a list of techniques and technology solutions that can help to boost fan engagement during a golf tournament.

Fan engagement boost during the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions

  1. We must be clear and specific regarding the fans with whom we would like to have a relationship. Think about how to approach & engage these 3 types of fans: “armchair fans”, “love golf” fans, FANATICS. All of them have different needs and expectations. So for instance, fanatics will want to get as close and learn more about the players as possible. An “armchair fan” will be happy to get push notifications, live streaming service etc. On average, fanatics are more valuable than casual fans since they are ready to spend more on their favorite team (e.g. Ryder Cup) or their preferred tour player(s).
  2. Your fans are your marketing team -> Give them a fast WiFi connection on the golf course to enable to share their experience with their friends. This way they can create a buzz in real time for your event. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a very strong trigger these days.
  3. I really like the concept of Fantribe Social Rewards Mobile App. It allows fans to see what friends are saying, celebrate key moments together, receive real-time insights and info from the Club’s inner sanctum. Fans can even hear from players and the coach during the game, all through the one app.
  4.  Organizing meets and greets or game day and making sure that enhances the fan experience.
  5. Don’t forget to plan for the period between two events (see ‘post-purchase communication‘ of service provider companies). Meaningful relationships don’t start and stop with the golf season/golf tournament. In such communication (e.g. email, chatbot communication, Facebook posts, etc.), you should focus on their interests. I would NOT send generic messages rather trying to segment the fan community and communicate accordingly. Consider the frequency of your communication!
  6. Why there is no dedicated Facebook page, YouTube channel, Instagram page for the WGC-HSBC Champions event to build community and fandom?
  7. Using iBeacon technology – to send instant updates via push notification + to provide information based on the person’s geolocation.
  8. The 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions could provide live AR tournament coverage for fans like we can get at the PGA Tour (allowing fans to interact with 3D featured holes and live 3D shot trails on any flat surface right in front of them). The app, created using Apple’s ARKit. The PGA Tour AR app was launched together with MasterCard. This AR app was launch during the latest Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard on March 15, 2018. This AR technology has been used by the NFL, NBA to promote engagement with their respective leagues.
  9. Recognize loyalty – tournament organizers should recognize & reward returning visitors.