I can promise you I will not ask you as a Ryder Cup fan when will start the 2018 Ryder Cup. Just in case: 25th September 2018.
Regarding major golf tournaments and events, I always highlight the importance of fan engagement. No exceptions can be made regarding the 2018 Ryder Cup.
I am sure many fans will buy memorabilia (e.g. branded shirts, balls, tees, etc. I see many of them in the pro shop of the Le Golf National.). When you buy these classic memorabilia you will be/are happy for a very limited time. OK, you will wear time-to-time your Ryder Cup shirt(s).
However, it will not generate that level of engagement with the tournament, the 2018 Ryder Cup as the organizers would need. The European Tour and Golf GameBook are launching in these days a Ryder Cup fan game.
The essence of the Ryder Cup fan game is that you can re-live iconic Ryder Cup matches by participating via the Golf GameBook application in Ryder Cup-themed challenges and can choose to play for either Europe or the U.S.A.
Golf fans across the world can play their own round of golf and try to beat the score posted by the professional during the Ryder Cup match.
Golf GameBook‘s previous fan game for the European Tour, the Your Race to Dubai was a huge success. Over 500,000 unique challenges played against
European Tour professionals.
I like this idea for several reasons:
- It is on mobile. In 2017, we spent 3.3 hours a day on our mobile phones (vs desktop/laptop: 2.1 hours; Source: Internet Trends 2018 by Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins). We should embrace the mobile-first attitude and utilize at most the current mobile technologies to create not just better fan engagement, but also customer experience as well.
- Create a new venue to engage with fans and sell extra services.
- I would think also about how could this fan game become part of the 2018 Ryder Cup content marketing strategy. For instance, how could we provide the right information, at the right time for the right person? The European Tour should consider the lifecycle of a content: where it will live, who will interact with it, what success looks like and when it will be retired.
- Communication personalization. It would be essential to personalize content in real-time. It is a great way to maximize the micro-moments of their fans.
- This game can path the way to the use of functional artificial intelligence (Pebble Beach official mobile app in cooperation with IBM Watson).
- If we use emotions in the right way (e.g. reminding and remembering previous Ryder Cup games) we can make the customer/brand relationship more personalized and memorable. This way, you will have a loyalty platform as well.