Ryder Cup 2016 Live Sponsorship Monitoring

Background

The Ryder Cup is a match play men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the U.S. that takes place every two years. The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe jointly administer the event that alternates locations between courses in Europe and the U.S. The 2016 Ryder Cup was held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. Sept. 27 – Oct. 2. GOLF Channel and NBC provided more than 25 hours of live television coverage in the U.S.

Challenge

While producing a “home field” atmosphere at Hazeltine National Golf Club, the PGA of America incorporated sponsor branding into signage around the course, with strategic placement based on known camera angles during live play. The PGA of America wanted to maximize the value generated by sponsors while also maintaining a level of parity where possible among the five primary sponsors. The visibility of the sponsor branding would be dependent on camera angles and the action of live play.

Strategy

The PGA of America commissioned Nielsen to conduct live monitoring of branded assets during U.S. television broadcasts of the 2016 Ryder Cup. Utilizing best practices and prior coverage information provided by Nielsen, the PGA of America developed an initial rotation schedule of placements for the five sponsors. Additionally, Nielsen tracked all appearances of the sponsor signage on Day 1 (GOLF Channel) and Day 2 (NBC) broadcasts, monitoring the duration and share of voice each of the five primary sponsors were receiving. After each day of play, Nielsen provided insights regarding signage adjustments in order to increase visibility and parity for the sponsors. The PGA of America made adjustments ranging from alternating logos on signage to physically moving pieces of signage to achieve better on-camera exposure.

Results

The 2016 Ryder Cup sponsors received both a significant increase in television screen time and greater levels of parity when compared to the event in 2014. “Given the intricacies of live television coverage, Nielsen was able to present data that exposed some situations that were not able to be previously anticipated,” Jeff Price, Chief Commercial Officer of the PGA of America said.

“Having Nielsen on-site as the event unfolded allowed us to make real-time adjustments to maximize impact for our sponsors.”

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Ryder Cup 2016 Live Sponsorship Monitoring | Hole 1 Tee Fence

DAY 1

The tee fence is out to the side, limiting the view of brands from this camera angle.

DAY 2

The tee fence moved behind the tee box, offering a better visual for the brands from this camera angle.

DAY 3

The tee fence moved kept behind the tee box; however, the order of the sponsors has changed to create exposure parity.

Conclusion

Real time sponsorship monitoring combined with a post-event valuation can be particularly useful to rights holders operating special events at rotating venues. Camera angles, live play and visual obstructions can significantly impact the value delivered to sponsors of events. In the case of a multi-day tournament, the real time monitoring provides data and insights needed to take action so a rights holder can maximize value for sponsors and build a solid case for future partnerships.