The Buick LPGA Shanghai & the Chinese golfers’ dreams

By: May 18, 2018

We all know (I hope so!) that by making a golf event more observable makes it easier to generate interest and to raise awareness. If we want to make female golf contagious we should create triggers.

As a great supporter of female golf participation and golf tournaments, I was happy to hear that SAIC-GM Buick decided in China to sponsor for a five-year period the LPGA Tour by creating the Buick LPGA Shanghai, at Qizhong Garden Golf Club.

This will be the very first LPGA tournament in Shanghai. The prestigious LPGA Tour will be held between 18 and 21 October 2018.

The first edition will boast a purse of US $2.1 million, and the field will consist of:

  •  62 of the world’s top-ranked players on the LPGA Money List,
  • 15 from China Lady’s Professional Rankings and
  • 4 sponsor invites.

China’s first lady of golf, Shanshan Feng, the first Chinese player, male or female, to win a Major and be ranked No.1 in the world will also participate at the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament.

SAIC-GM Buick Brand and WME IMG China Launched Buick LPGA Shangahi Today

This is not the first time that Buick sponsors a female golf tournament in China. In 2016, was held the Buick Championship, a $6-million local grand slam tournament, which was co-approved by Ladies European Tour and CLPGA.

As of today, there are at least 77 900 Chinese female golfers.

Sponsorship challenges in 2018

  1. Measurement & Accountability– Today, almost everything is measurable in real-time. The LPGA should provide proof to SAIC-GM Buick that the sponsorship of the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament is beneficial.
  2. How to protect the main sponsors of an event against ‘ambush marketing’ (e.g. Nike’s takeover of adjacent buildings during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta).
  3. How to leverage multiple activation channels (PR, digital, traditional advertising, event marketing, etc.) as part of the sponsorship activity.
  4. Looking for ways to use technology (e.g. wearables, sensor technologies, VR/AR) to further engage with people. Let’s not forget that fans ‘seeking a highly personalized, immersive experience’. VR has a great potential to revolutionize the way sports content will be broadcasted.
  5. Involving influencers to promote the sponsored event and golf itself.
  6. Capture new audiences: pressure on viewership and attendance.
  7. Focus on building strong fan relationships.