By David Gwyn, President, FWV
FWV President David Gwyn is the agency’s resident golf expert and so very thankful to have the game to play during these trying times. Any time you want to play a round, just let us know!
Golf is not a hobby. It’s medicine for the soul. It’s a mental break from the noise in this “world of everything.” It’s straight-up comedy if you’re with the right group. Golf provides life lessons and wisdom from some of your very best friends and sometimes from people you just met on the first tee. It’s real competitive when you want it to be. Golf is new business development without ever talking about work. It can be exercise – or a day party – you choose.
If you don’t know, now you know.
Now More Than Ever.
While the PGA Tour and all other official golf activities shut down as the world paused in late March, country clubs and municipal courses across the country thankfully remained open and operating at full speed. At first it was walking only, don’t touch the flags, no rakes, no 19th hole, but over the summer, things have opened up a little. Golfers are the best social distancers now as we didn’t want to lose the privilege of playing!
“WFH” freed up office-bound workers to either start or finish their day on the course guilt-free. Families walked down fairways and took over the tee sheets. Kids chomp at the bit to see if the seniors quit after nine holes so they can slide in for the back nine. In this day of social distancing, Zoom fatigue, take-out only and nowhere to go, the sanctuary that is golf has now come to mean even more to those who know.
Back in Business.
The TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge and Capital One’s “The Match” got things started and the post-COVID-19 season was back on with the Charles Schwab Challenge, representing the first meaningful U.S. major sports competition in early June. And people were ready for it – the proof was in the ratings with final round viewership up 50% from last year. Streaming coverage (while Zooming, maybe?) was up even more at 420% year-over-year with over 31 million minutes streamed over four days.
And as we have already seen with soccer, Major League Baseball and now the NBA, watching other major sports this fall without fans will pale in comparison to the golf watching experience which relies on intimate shots of the players versus the entire team or team and fan interaction from other sports.
Nothing will ever match the excitement that Tiger Woods brought to the sport during his 2000s prime, but as we enter National Golf Month with the year’s first Major set for August 6 – 9, I believe this golf season will be one of the most memorable times in the sport’s history.
Imagine attending an Alabama/LSU or Georgia/Tennessee game the same week as going to The Masters?! What’s better than that?
At FWV, we have been lucky to work with some of the best companies, brands and personalities in the industry. Starting with Raleigh’s own Peter Millar brand that has gone through a meteoric growth period in the past 10 years; thanks to the leadership of CEO Scott Mahoney and his team at the company. You can read about Peter Millar here and see some of our work for the brand here.
Then there is SkyTrak Golf, which produces the most accurate and affordable in-home launch monitor and play simulator on the market. If you watch the Golf Channel at all, I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials we produced for SkyTrak – or you can take a look at those here. Hopefully, those commercials are why SkyTrak’s sales have increased by 300% in 2020!
FWV was chosen as agency of record (AOR) by synthetic turf giant Synlawn for PR and social media services, including the promotion of its golf products. Learn more about all the company has done and plans to do here.
For years, FWV has helped the Veteran’s Golf Association get its message out. As the leading organization for competitive golf for veterans and their families, they truly have a great story to tell.
Most recently, FWV has been in discussions with DraftKings about a new daily wager program it should have in place this fall. In fact, golf wagering is the fastest growing category on the platform.
We are also proud of the the personalities of the game that FWV works with in the sport. Former PGA pro tour player, now country musician Colt Ford, Tiger’s little buddy Harold Varner III and Peter Millar ambassadors Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas are among the many that FWV has worked with over the years.
With daily life changed for the foreseeable future as a result this pandemic, I encourage you to get outside and experience the lifelong game of golf!