Thursday December 7, 2023

Content Marketing: Real-Time Storytelling in the COVID Era

  • The PGA TOUR, Travelers Insurance, and imre collaborate to tell stories.
  • Even with no fans in the stands, the Travelers Championship saw a 43% jump in viewership this year.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

During a time of sporting events with no fans, the PGA TOUR has been put in an interesting position of having to tell the stories of their tournaments in a whole new way. This requires strong collaboration between the TOUR, its golfers, sponsors, and more.

In this webinar, Laura Neal, senior vice president of media, content & communications at the PGA TOUR, Matt Bordonaro, vice president, head of media relations at Travelers, and Ryan Jordan, executive creative director at imre, join Joe Londergan of Front Office Sports for a chat on how the PGA TOUR has executed their storytelling strategy during the COVID-19 era.

Edited highlights appear below:

On developing the storytelling strategy for the Travelers Championship (8:59)

Jordan: The strategy in years past was always focused on Travelers really being the best stop on TOUR: family friendly, having the best offerings in and around the game play. We achieved that goal. That strategy was in an effort to attract the best talent. And credit to the Travelers team. We really adjusted the strategy two, three years ago to really focus on one of the best fields in all of the PGA TOUR. So when this came up, we were prepared for it because we already were putting focus on the players in a lot of ways, and our storytelling revolves so much around the players. So for us to pivot and really focus in on that tuning piece, really using social media to get people to tune in, it was really easy for us to put a spotlight on the players.

On the collaboration process between all parties to tell a good story (14:50)

Neal: I think we go back to the foundation that was built. The goodwill built with the players, but also the foundation that was built by this team for Travelers and really being innovative and robust and dynamic with the content creation in the past. So those muscles were already there. We just had to apply them in a different way. … Really that social impact content connecting with the community through the caddy bib program and other pieces of content that are programs that we did, I think set the stage for that ramp-up throughout the rest of the season to show we’re not just out on the field of play so players can make money, right? We’re here to entertain, and we’re here to continue that connection to the community, which you could argue is more important now than ever.

On digital strategy for the rest of the year (34:38)

Bordonaro: Just for the Travelers Championship, one thing that we haven’t mentioned yet is the event did still raise $1.6 million for charity, despite having zero fans on-site. So what we’re looking to do is continue to promote that, and I think there’s a lot of stories out there about how nonprofits are really struggling with everything that’s going on. The TOUR does so much to give back to the community and support the organizations that do a lot for a lot of people in our communities. So our focus is going to be on how we continue to have that message out there for the remainder of the year.

On using Instagram stories to tell the story of the Travelers Championship (49:14)

Jordan: It takes a lot of faith to adapt the voice of the times, right? Content has become so ephemeral and using a story format that goes away in 24 hours, investing in creative that really tells that real-time story, that takes a lot of faith. You might not be able to look back and experience that story six months later. [With the Traveller’s Championship] our focus was really tune-in. How do we get people to tune in? … And stories was such a great tool in getting people to tune in. We saw a 43% increase in viewership this year. I think a lot of that is because it was really focused on that tune-in message. The channel is there more for that sort of evergreen message and where we can really promote the charities, really get people more involved in some of the missions that Travelers are participating in. But that stories format, I think, is so powerful. I think a lot of people are scared of it because it goes away.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

How the $1B Golf Ball Industry Might Add a Few Strokes To Your Game

A distance roll back is set to be coming to golf balls.

In Light of More Player Defection Talk, PGA Tour Pens Optimistic Memo

Players on policy board look to convey sense of calm, optimism.

PGA Tour Expects To Add Another Investor To Pair With Saudi PIF

The PGA Tour is still working toward the Dec. 31 deadline.

PGA Tour's $100M Incentive Program May Be On Thin Ice

Jordan Spieth says the Player Impact Program isn't needed.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why the NBA May Have Made Billions With Midseason Tournament


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple Locations
Multiple Locations
Creative Artists Agency
Multiple Locations

Women in Sports are Leveling Up

Three graduates of Ohio University’s Professional Master of Sports Administration shared their sports business success stories on FOS Fundamentals.

Executive Roundtable: Putting Employees First

Best Employers in Sports, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Dolphins, remote work, diversity, inclusion, COVID-19, leadership, career development

Webinar: How The PGA TOUR Drives Digital Engagement

The PGA TOUR has always been at the forefront of digital engagement and innovation. In collaboration with its longtime partner,, the TOUR continues to create news ways to engage with its global fan base.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.

Webinar: The In-Venue Technology That Can Welcome Fans Back

Representatives from Samsung discuss in-stadium tech solutions to keep fans safe and entertained with Front Office Sports.

How Digital Technology Is Being Leveraged to Create Great In-Venue Experiences in..

An all-star panel joins Front Office Sports for a webinar on creating strong in-venue experiences for fansduring and after the pandemic.

How Today’s Brands Are Maximizing Sponsorship ROI With Their Own Analytics

Representatives from Dell Technologies, Stanley Black & Decker, GumGum Sports and FOS CEO Adam White discuss sponsorship analysis today.

OneTeam Partners: Athlete and Brand Amplification for the Cutting Edge Sports Marketer

Reps from OneTeam Partners join this Front Office Sports Webinar to discuss esports, NIL marketing rights, working with NFL players, and more.