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Plan the Perfect Golf Event

Producing a golf event takes careful organization and planning, as well as the right promotional products that will enhance the event. Check out these tips from experts Roger Caldwell, owner and founder of Kansas-based Great Golf Events; Larry Battaglia, owner of New York-based Golf Event Planning; and Kevin Ludke, PGA professional with Miami-based Professional Golf Events South Florida.

Start with a plan. Caldwell advises to plan a minimum of 120 days out. "Focus on what you're trying to accomplish and plan ways to promote both your purpose and the event," he says. "If this is a customer appreciation event, spoil them with branded gifts and awards to keep your brand in front of them."

Product Suggestions: Build interest by sending sets of branded golf balls to potential participants. Use four-color printing to enhance your logo.



Locate the best course. "Proximity is a factor, but I look at the overall facility and how the course sets up for a particular tournament, including the cart staging area, lunch and dinner arrangements, overall player room and activity setup room," Ludke says. He also advises making sure the course and greens are in good shape and that the staff can accommodate the needs of the event including competitive pricing for golf, lunches, dinners, etc.
Product Suggestions: Once you've picked a golf course, order T-shirts emblazoned with the course name and your logo. Add branded hats if the budget allows.

Design an event website. Battaglia says, "We start out by educating ourselves about the overall mission and purpose of the event. We then create custom imagery that is tailored to individual clients." He notes that capability for event marketing, accessibility to online registration and linking clients' homepages also make for great websites, as well as options for tee time reservations and social media integration.
Product Suggestions: Make participants want to register via your website by offering logoed boxes of tees to those who sign up online.

Choose fun games. "Traditional on-course contests are a must, including hole-in-one, longest drive and closest to pin," says Caldwell, "But implement some unique games as well." He suggests placing five pins on the green and making all of them hole-in-one prize holes or providing prizes for natural birdies to any flag. "In order to make this work, the jackpots must look easy to earn," Caldwell says.
Product Suggestions: Branded contest prizes range from the expensive (custom tournament jackets) to the economical (ditty bags loaded with accessories). Choose based on difficulty of winning the prize.

Present the right trophy. "It's a mistake to choose cheap trophies or something donated that most people could care less about," says Ludke. "The key is that you want your players to remember the event and you want to impress them with that wow factor from start to finish."
Product Suggestions: Pick from a vast selection of top-drawer logoed golf trophies for team prizes. For individual prizes, choose branded items that participants can use on a day-to-day basis so they will be constantly reminded of the event.


Bobbleheads Dominate MLB Promo Calendars

Garden gnomes, soap dispensers, fedoras and replica championship rings are just a few of the new promotional items MLB teams will give away at ballparks this season. Still, the promo product that remains the most collectible and universally popular in stadiums is the bobblehead. In fact, there are more than 130 bobblehead promotional nights scheduled at MLB parks in 2015, featuring replicas of current players, broadcasters and movie characters. 

"We give away a bobblehead, it automatically becomes a sellout," Rick Schlesinger, COO of the Milwaukee Brewers, recently told ESPN. "Every year we think we might have exhausted the bobblehead craze here in Wisconsin, and it doesn't happen."

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For 2015, the Brewers have sold out multiple packages of promotional tickets – entitling fans to a bobblehead of Bob Uecker's character from the film Major League and a bobblehead of catcher Jonathan Lucroy with a green light saber in his hand for Star Wars night. The Cincinnati Reds, meanwhile, have nine promotional bobblehead dates planned, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals each have eight. The Yankees are giving away four bobbleheads this year in the images of Masahiro Tanaka, Thurman Munson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Babe Ruth.


Bobblehead technology will also improve for 2015. The Brewers' Uecker figurine has a chip in it that will belt out three phrases from Major League and the Cardinals' Harry Caray bobblehead will also talk – a giveaway meant to honor the legendary voice of the rival Chicago Cubs. 

The popularity of bobbleheads is far from a fad – plans were recently announced to open a National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee. The museum will host bobblehead events, autograph signings and mascot appearances, and it will include a bobblehead-themed restaurant. Alternatively, as an ongoing display, the Miami Marlins have a collection of about 600 baseball bobbleheads inside Marlins Park.

If bobbleheads aren't what you're looking for, though, MLB teams are offering quite a list of distinctive giveaways this year. A few top picks: Hisashi Iwakuma bear hats (Mariners) on April 25; BBQ branding irons (Twins) on May 25; and Star Wars-themed Death Star balls (Red Sox) on May 4 and R2D2 can coolers (Nationals) on July 19

Football Team Scores Equipment Through Golf

Mission Viejo High School's Diablo football team needed to raise money for new training and safety equipment and facilities, and they had a small timeframe to work with. Traditional fundraising efforts taking weeks or months weren't the answer. The solution was to pump up the previous year's fundraiser – the high school's annual Diablo Classic Golf Tournament.

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California-based Mission Viejo chose one of South Orange County's finest golf courses to host the event, and used the Diablo Classic website and a variety of online and personal communication efforts to advertise it. The tourney featured a round of golf plus lunch, dinner and opportunities to win Diablo-branded promotional gifts via hole-in-one contests and other on-course events. Prizes included branded golfers' gift-packs featuring shoe bags, divot fixers and tee pouches. Diablo-branded thank-you gifts were also given to golfers to encourage them to donate to the football team.

Tournament participants and donors enjoyed the promotional gifts, and the branding helped keep the Diablos in mind well after the football season ended. The tournament itself was a success as the effort exceeded expectations, raising more than enough money to cover the season's football needs.

Are you looking to raise money for your school or sports team? Make sure to use innovative techniques to connect prospects to a school's offerings to boost school enrollment or raise funds for teams. The best methods to do this use promotional products and a strong partnership with your distributor who can show you great ways to incorporate branded items into your campaign. 
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