PGA TOUR’s Top Players Increase Social Media Engagement By 82%

Social Media

Fans surround the island green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass for The PLAYERS Championship. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Getty

It might not have been perceptible to a lot of golf fans, but the PGA TOUR back in 2015 started changing the way it connects with a large segment of its consumer base. Instead of simply relying on its own social media channels, the game’s leading professional tour decided to help its players share content on their personal social channels.

The PGA TOUR now has four permanent staffers on its “Tour player content team” and the results speak for themselves. In the past 20 months – from January 1, 2017 through last month – the top 50 players in the world increased their social fan engagement by 82% over the previous 20-month period.

Over that time, players across the PGA TOUR produced in excess of 200 million video views, a 157% increase, and grew their collective audience by almost 10 million followers.

The PGA TOUR launched its new brand campaign, “Live Under Par,” earlier this year, with the intended goal of extending its reach among the sport’s existing fan base as well as attracting a new and diverse generation of golf fans. The campaign is driven by content, both in and out of competition, that’s created by players, fans and the Tour itself. While that campaign is only seven months old, the PGA TOUR is no stranger to building and implementing strategies to facilitate social media growth.

Rory McIlroy is swarmed by fans as he walks to the 18th green during the final round of the 2018 Tour Championship. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Getty

In addition to close working relationships with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the PGA TOUR has enlisted the athlete marketing platform opendorse to help players share social posts featuring images and video. Players are now engaging fans at three times the previous rate, an increase that’s not only key for the sport, but crucial for players who in many respects are independent contractors seeking to build their image and brand.