This weekend we watched history unfold at the biggest event in golf: The 2021 Masters tournament from the legendary course at Augusta National Golf Club.
This storied event saw another historic first as Hideki Matsuyama became the first male Japanese player to win a major championship. As Hideki celebrates his big win (and gets fitted for a new green jacket) we wanted to give you an inside look at how the PGA Tour’s Player Content Team gives their golfers the visual assets they need to tell their story and ultimately strengthen the impact of the PGA’s brand.
View this post on Instagram
We caught up with the Director of Player Content for the PGA Tour Preston McClellan and VP of Communications for the LPGA Kelly Schultz during the PhotoShelter Summit for Brands to learn how their influencer storytelling strategy is key to amplifying their brand. Watch Preston and Kelly’s session below and read on for a breakdown of how these two creative teams get the most out of their influencer marketing.
Capitalizing on Player Engagement
The LPGA communications team works collaboratively and creatively with the team players to create opportunities for meaningful audience connections. When the tour went on pause, Kelly said her team “took the opportunity to really look at each social channel and say, ‘what are the tools we can provide our athletes to make that connection?’” They worked to humanize athletes by showing fans their experiences during lockdowns and their entertaining attempts to play golf at home.
Check out LPGA star Sarah Kemp’s at-home practice setup:
— Sarah Kemp (@kempgolf) March 29, 2020
Director of Player Content for the PGA Tour Preston McClellan also works to feature athlete content to connect with their audience. The creative team at the PGA did a little digging and found a huge discrepancy between their following on social media and their athlete’s followings. While the PGA’s brand accounts have about 8 million followers, the players collectively boast an audience of over 60 million.
This untapped potential led Preston and the team at the PGA to build their storytelling strategy around the athletes. “We really think about our athletes and our players as our biggest influencers,” explains Preston.
They know that providing athletes with stunning visual content is critical for developing the PGA brand as a whole.
“Everyone who works for teams and leagues knows that you capitalize on those emotive moments right after wins. Players and athletes need to do the same thing, and that’s what we’re here to do and provide them.” – Preston McClellan
That means it’s crucial to develop a workflow that ensures the players have access to content as quickly as possible to capitalize on the power of their biggest moments on tour.
Preston broke down his workflow for us and explained what it took to get this snazzy shot of Brooks Koepka’s quarantine mustache delivered and ready for social just a few minutes after his team requested it.
View this post on Instagram
Brooks’ agent reached out to the PGA and let them know he was looking for a fun photo to show off his new facial hair. Preston explains how it all went down:
“We immediately let the guys know that Brooks’ team was looking for a photo of his ‘stache. One of our guys kind of surreptitiously took this one. We were notified by it. It was uploaded into our system, PhotoShelter, we downloaded it, put it into Opendorse, and then about 15 minutes after the photo was taken we did have it in Brooks team’s hands.”
The lightning-fast workflow means players can take advantage of moments like these to engage with fans and ultimately increase engagement with the PGA as a whole. As Preston points out, “a rising tide lifts all ships so if more people are following our players, more people are inherently following the PGA tour.”
By leveraging the impact of their players as influencers, both the PGA and LPGA can create meaningful audience connections and ensure they’re capturing the power of every moment.
Want to learn more about how creative teams are streamlining their visual storytelling workflows? Catch up on all the action from our virtual event – The PhotoShelter Summit for Brands and learn what successful creatives are doing to get the most out of their visual assets.