Why is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship attractive?

By: November 9, 2016

Maybe it is early to talk about the 12th Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Abu Dhabi Golf Club, January 19-22, 2017), but there is a great temptation when I see who will be playing, besides the defending champion Rickie Fowler:

  • Dustin Johnson,
  • Rory McIlroy,
  • Henrik Stenson,
  • Danny Willett,
  • Branden Grace, Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Jaidee Thongchai and Thomas Bjorn.

Dustin Johnson is looking to start 2017 in Abu Dhabi. I am curious if he will be able to continue his great performance that we saw from him this year when he won the U.S. Open, the BMW Championship and became the PGA Tour Player of The Year title. This will be his first play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.


What will be more interesting to see and check in the 12th Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is what kind of fan activation techniques the sponsors will use:

  • Augmented reality (AR),
  • Virtual reality (VR): virtual reality booths. The Red Sox used this solution to enable fans to see the team up close and in 360 degrees. During the U.S. Open Championship (tennis) fans were able to try out virtual reality experience which saw them try to return a serve from Maria Sharapova.
  • Live streaming (e.g. Facebook Live, Periscope),
  • Social media: what kind of branded content will they develop (maybe with drones?)? Are they able to deliver what the customers are dictating? It is time to focus on the value vs. volume.
  • What will be the function and role of the mobiles? etc.

To make such sponsorship investment more profitable, it is wise to:

  • align sponsorship with broader business and marketing strategies,
  • to think of long term potential,
  • make measurable the investment in financial and sales terms.

Sponsors and host should not neglect the importance of the positive end of the event as it has a significant effect on customer experience. This is what they will take home from the event in their mind and heart.


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Images from Getty Images