• Loading stock data...
Friday, June 14, 2024

PGA Overcomes Stereotypes to Build Strong Digital Presence

PGA-Golf-Tour

If you were to close your eyes and envision what the typical PGA Tour fan embodied, the terms ‘young’ and ‘tech-savvy’ likely wouldn’t come to mind. You’d likely conjure up thoughts of an older gentleman more inclined to watch on television than interact online or stream a round digitally. While that stereotype may have fit the average golf fan at one point, times are changing.

Case in point, the PGA Championships wrapped up earlier this month — and the tournament delivered all-time records across the PGA’s digital platforms. The records included video starts (up 119 percent year over year), time spent viewing (105 percent) and total audience (up 107 percent in unique visitors).

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

These metrics are in part thanks to shifting demographics and viewing habits, but also heavily influenced by unique content created specifically for digital channels.

“There are a number of factors that are likely contributing to the increases: One, we are seeing both a growing young audience as well as the traditional fan consuming more and on more platforms,” said Gary Treater, Turner Sports’ GM of PGA.com. “More fans are consuming the PGA on multiple devices throughout the week as it is easier to find it on more platforms (e.g. TV, responsive web, iOS, Android, Roku and other connected devices). Two, we are creating content specifically for these platforms and devices that cater to various viewing habits (e.g. long-form streaming video tends to be consumed more on larger screens, shorter video clips and highlights on mobile, special content for social platforms).”

With new and existing fans consuming more of major tournaments online, that platform-specific content becomes one of the most important aspects of the PGA and Turner’s content strategy. It is this original kind of digital coverage that will continue to help the platform grow and thrive. Turner Sports, whether it’s with the NBA, PGA or its own Bleacher Report brand, has proven it knows what the digital fan wants from its coverage and continues to push the limits of what’s possible.

“Fans do like the ability to have options on what they watch, have the opportunity to interact with the content, and be able to control the experience,” Treater explained. “We offered fans the options each day of two featured groups in the morning and afternoon, coverage of featured holes 16, 17 and 18, content from the press room and the broadcast. Fans can go back and forth between streams, view the leaderboard and access a live reporting feed of all the action happening on the course, all while watching live video.”

It’s that ability for the viewer to feel like they’re in control of their experience and the behind-the-scenes access that makes the digital counterpart to the conventional broadcast intriguing for fans and a smart play for the PGA and Turner. The part of the coverage this is most evident in is the featured group coverage.

“The featured group coverage is unique and different from the broadcast as we take fans inside the ropes to experience every shot and nearly every minute of the entire round of some of the top players each day,” Treater said. “It is a compliment to the broadcast and is consumed on a standalone basis or as a second screen experience to the broadcast. We expanded the featured group coverage in 2016 and now offer over 80 hours of live video options during the week.”

Having interesting and different content digitally is necessary and a great first step, but getting people aware of it and watching is another issue. That’s where social media comes in.

“No question that social media has impacted both the way some fans experience the PGA Championship as well as how much they consume,” Treater shared. “Programming content on social platforms has enabled us to reach a broader and younger audience, allow them to consume the event where they are spending time, and join the conversation that is happening and share with friends.”

“Our goal is always to provide the best fan experience possible by creating world-class content and delivering it to fans where they prefer to consume it. Some will make social channels their platform of choice, others will find the official site for a deep experience and others will do both throughout the week of the event.”

While the PGA and Turner have charted new territory for their digital coverage, both understand the importance of growing and listening to the fans to understand how they should innovate next.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

“We think the key is to understand your fans….their wants and needs and how they like to consume live golf, create compelling content they desire and deliver it in ways they prefer that enhances their viewing experience whether they are at work, at home at the event or on the go,” Treater explained. “One has to continue to evolve the content and delivery as platforms and fan viewing habits evolve.”

In sports you’re either moving forward or falling behind; there is no in between. For the PGA and Turner Sports, regardless of what the stereotype of the typical golf fan is, they’re changing the game digitally and growing golf’s fan base each step of the way.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 13, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Jan. 13, 2021, one week after it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob while a joint session of Congress was certifying the 2020 election victory of President Elect Joe Biden.

House Committee Sends Bill Banning College Athlete Employment to House Floor

The bill has gone further than any other athlete compensation legislation.
May 10, 2024; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams during a press conference before Chicago Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.

Caleb Williams Launches Investment Firm Before Signing a Bears Contract

Williams announced 888 Midas for private equity, VC, and real estate deals.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the US Open is Designed for Drama

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Sage Steele Claims in Suit That Her Agents Prioritized Relationship With ESPN Over Her

She says CAA chose its relationship over ESPN over advocating for her.
June 11, 2024

USA Cricket Is on the Cusp of a Historic Win. But Who Can Watch?

On Wednesday, the U.S. will face the pre-tournament favorite, India.
June 12, 2024

Paramount-Skydance Merger Off: Could Deal With WBD Be Revived?

Shari Redstone abruptly calls off potential merger discussions between the CBS Sports parent and Skydance Media.
Sponsored

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 11, 2024

ESPN Extension Could Set Up Shannon Sharpe As Stephen A. Smith’s Successor

Sharpe is writing one of the great career comebacks in sports TV history.
June 11, 2024

After Long-Term French Open Deal, What’s Next for TNT Sports?

A 10-year rights deal for the French Open immediately becomes the longest in Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio.
June 10, 2024

What Would TNT Sports Look Like Without the NBA? Here’s What We Know

Warner Bros. Discovery still has plenty of other sports rights.
June 6, 2024

NBA Media-Rights Talks: Silver Says Deals Are Near, Wants to ‘Wrap It Up’

The commissioner highlights the ‘complexity’ of the high-profile media-rights negotiations.