Why the LPGA is Investing in a Social Media Tool to Help Golfers Build Their Digital Brands

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The LPGA hopes to leverage the platform to help to distribute content natively through golfer’s channels. (Photo via LPGA.com)

If you haven’t noticed, athletes across the world are realizing the power of their social channels and the opportunity presented when fans have direct access to them.

From superstars like LeBron James sharing parts of his personal life through Instagram Stories to Joel Embiid roasting other players on Twitter, athletes are taking full advantage of the platforms that they have at their disposal and the audiences they have built.

Naturally, brands have seen this trend play out and are now getting involved to deliver messaging and partnerships through these athletes.

With a roster of over 200 golfers, no one probably knows the impact in getting your biggest brand advocates to share content, branded or otherwise, natively through their channels than the LPGA.

Because of this, the association took a significant step by partnering with opendorse, the Nebraska-based athlete marketing platform, to deliver a seamless solution that allows both the organization and their constituents to benefit.

“Our players are our greatest spokespeople, said Tina Barnes-Budd, Senior Director, Social Media Marketing & Communications at Ladies Professional Golf Association. “With that in mind, it needs to be a simplified process for players to buy into the system. We just had a successful pilot test at our first event of the season with the defending champion, Brittany Lincicome. She loved the ease of execution and thought it was great that she could ‘natively’ share LPGA-generated content with her fans.”

Not only does the deal give players the chance to distribute content created by the LPGA’s social team natively to millions of fans around the globe, Blake Lawrence, opendorse’s CEO, sees the deal as something much bigger than just a streamlined way to deliver high-quality content.

“In conversations with Tina and Heather, it’s clear that their mission is to help LPGA players grow the game of golf and introduce the sport to young women around the world,” said Lawrence. “The LPGA players and fans of tomorrow will be introduced to the game via social channels. As young golfers look for heroes in the sport, these players will be equipped to inspire that next generation of golfers.”

“Our goals, both short and long-term are quite simple. To help our players with rich content that their fans and followers will engage in, help promote our marketing and title partners, and continue to promote the LPGA brand as a whole.” – Tina Barnes-Budd

After watching what opendorse had done with the PGA Tour, finding a way to leverage the power of platform for the LPGA became a hole-in-one opportunity for Budd and her team.

“We’ve been in talks with opendorse for the last few years but became more serious in investing in this program after they were able to showcase how the PGA Tour was using it, said Budd. “After watching the PGA Tour’s program in action with their players and witnessing the amount of engagement they were receiving, we thought it was a great program to be involved with.”

With their old system, Budd and her team had to email golfers and ask them to help to promote something. Now, it’s as simple as the LPGA digital team preloading all the content with the right media and hashtags, pushing it to the golfers via a text, and having them hit one button to send it out.  

It’s this seamlessness, and the fact that the golfers are already bought into the idea of helping promote the tour and its initiatives, that Budd believes will allow the tour to help them hit their key KPIs.

“Our players are extremely social savvy, so the thought of putting money into a tech company to help push out LPGA and sponsor content was a no-brainer. We pride ourselves in being ‘risk takers’ and are willing to try new things. We feel that investing in the opendorse program will generate a great ROI with the additional reach, impressions and engagement we, along with our partners, will receive by pushing out the content through our players.”