Golf Outing Sponsorship Demystified

Is your golf outing veering off course?  We’ve gathered expert advice to get you moving in the right direction.  In the first of our two part series you’ll learn how to leverage sponsorship opportunities to lower your costs and increase the funds you raise.

Spot light on Sponsorship
Golf outings offer endless opportunities for sponsorships which keep your costs down, increase the money you raise, and often enhance the value of the outing for your participants.

The businesses you target to sponsor your outing want two things from you when they write their check for your cause.  The first is charitable giving, supporting their community and giving back.  The second is the advertising and brand recognition that being part of your outing will garner them.  Essentially each sponsor is purchasing a marketing campaign packaged in your outing.  This means visibility is highly important to them so added perks such as placing their logo on your website, on print materials, and prominent signage at the event itself are a must.

Here are some ideas on where to concentrate your sponsorship efforts:

  • Hole Sponsors – the bread and butter of your outing.  Keep these at a lower cost and offer a package of participant entries in return.  Your goal should be to have one sponsor on every hole – two is even better!  

  • Beverage Cart – The mobile beverage cart will carry your sponsor’s sign to every hole!  This can be a money maker because of its high perceived value. 

  • Golf Cart GPS – Many courses now offer GPS right in the carts.  Often, the course can add a sponsor’s logo right to the screen.  This is gigantic in exposure.  However, turning the GPS on can add cost to your participant price tag, so be sure to get a sponsor before you turn it on!

  • Contests – No golf outing is complete without contests, so take advantage of them and sell the rights to each one.  Don’t buy the insurance for your Hole-in-One contest yourself – get a local dealership to sponsor the contest.  Course contests, like closest to the pin, are also great opportunities for sponsors, you can even have your sponsors provide the prize.   And don’t overlook the putting contest – the green is usually in a prime position.

  • Meals – Primary visibility is available at lunch, dinner and cocktail receptions where participants gather together.  Get a lunch sponsor on board, and be sure to offer signage to advertise their contribution.  A lunch sponsor may want to give away a gift such as a logoed insulated tumbler another way to add value for your participants without adding to your costs!  At dinner, you can expand the opportunities by offering bar or reception sponsorships in addition to the main dinner sponsor.  If you have more than one bar be sure to sell more than one sponsorship!  Keep increasing the value of the sponsorship and the participant price tag by allowing your sponsors give away promotional merchandise at every place setting. Increase the fun by asking if your bar sponsors would like to provide flashing ice cubes with their logo for the bars.

  • Event Sponsor – The biggest fish of all!  Find your biggest fan and get them on board with the event sponsorship.  Benefits to the sponsor start with linking their name to your charity – make it clear that their name will appear on every promotional piece and in signage at the event.  Be sure there are plenty of visibility perks as well as opportunities to network with your participants. 

Once you’ve got a slate of sponsors lined up it’s time to turn your attention to your participants.  In the second installment of our series, you’ll find a wealth of information to help you steer your efforts.

In the meantime, take advantage of our downloadable tournament timeline checklist. Sky High Marketing is ready to help you put your golf event on the map and raise more cash than ever before.

Got Golf?

The Masters Tournament begins next week and Sky High Marketing has been running a weekly golf themed promotion to kick off the season (see the first two here: and here: Since our president, Josh Kozinski, is the chair for this year’s BMA Milwaukee golf outing I thought I’d share his insider look at the planning process.

Q. You have been meeting with your committee for several months already – what are some of the things that you’ve accomplished?

A. A lot of the basic logistics are out of the way now, things like the date, location and menu. We have our theme picked, logo created and our promotion plan in place with materials ready to help us get the word out.

Q. What tasks do you have ahead?

A. We need to start asking for raffle items and get them in the door. The golfer goodie bags still need some coordination. We are also driving for sponsorship and golfers. The logistics of the outing are pretty wrapped up; now it’s just a matter of getting sponsors and golfers.

Q. How are the sponsorship dollars shaping up?

A. It’s early days yet and we’re really only in the first stage of our drive. We set a goal of getting eighteen hole sponsors for this year. We’ve got three in and several more that we’re talking with. We’re optimistic that this will be a good year for sponsorship.

Q. What are the greatest challenges you face as a committee in the planning of the outing?

A. Well, I hesitate to say this, because we’re seeing some very positive trends in the marketplace, but the economy is still an issue when it comes to events like this. We’ve got a great program running this year, though, to make it easier on companies that want to sponsor which will help all of us meet our goals. We’re running an ‘Early Bird’ special for hole sponsors – anyone registering their sponsorship before June 1st will pay only $175.00 (a real bargain!) after June 1st the price tag rises to $250.00.

The second biggest challenge is really the market saturation for golf outings. In our area during the summer months most organizations run a golf outing – so we have to really put our efforts into giving sponsors and golfers a good reason to choose our outing. Something that helps with that is really knowing your market and not being afraid of your niche. This is the Business Marketing Association outing – there will be great opportunities to meet and network with area business leaders in this area during the event. We also theme the outing so that our participants get the most bang for their buck. It’s really great to see how creative our sponsors get with the theme each year and the participants have a lot of fun with it. Changing the theme up helps to keep the event fresh. It’s not just a run of the mill outing.

Q. What are your favorite things about chairing the golf committee?

A. It’s opened up some doors and been a good opportunity to meet other BMA members, to learn about their businesses and get them involved with the event.

Q. What part of the outing do you most enjoy?

A. Seeing people have a good time, being a part of the networking that goes on among members and guests – it’s very rewarding.

The Business Marketing Association (BMA) outing is scheduled for June 20, at the Mequon Country Club.

Colleen M. Feldner, Marketing Coordinator