The world over has been relishing in the epic comeback of the game’s top golfer Tiger Woods. Fighting back against the ‘it’s time to retire’ injury controversy, Tiger roared his way to 2019 Masters victory. As the world watched him sink his winning putt on the 18th, none more so than the newly welcomed members at St. Margaret’s Golf & Country Club, who through the club’s recent creative marketing campaign, were set to bag their membership for free if Tiger won the tournament.
Attracting new members is a big priority for golf clubs and they must think outside the box when it comes to implementing a strategy to keep their membership base growing. We believe a good starting point when considering the long-term success of the club, is to engage with those coming through the doors. Which, in turn, putt a clever idea in our heads.
TEEING OFF THE OFFER
Bearing in mind our audience and with pro golf season in full swing, we took advantage of the frenzy around the Masters and with a stroke of marketing magic, our team rolled out a unique campaign to offer a free membership to golfers who joined the club between the launch of the campaign and Tiger Woods teeing off in the Masters Tournament. It was simple; sign up as a member and if Tiger wins, your membership is on us!!
A STROKE OF MARKETING
In the course of three weeks in the run up to the Masters tournament, we dedicated our efforts to ensuring that the campaign was visible to all golfers and that no golfer missed the opportunity to tee off a free pro-rata membership at the club. The campaign was marketed heavily across print and online, through direct marketing and on the ground advertising. Supported by several adverts in well-known golf magazines, an intense social media campaign, direct marketing, flyers, posters and through third-party platforms.
THE WINNING PUTT
As a result, we signed up 20 new members (worth €15K in membership revenue), all of whom nervously watched the nail-biting last day of the masters, hoping the weather and early start didn’t put Tiger off his form. And, he didn’t disappoint. Not only had Tiger reclaimed his title as the world’s most successful sportsman, the team at the club were celebrating an effective campaign that not only attracted new members but the brand awareness generated through our marketing efforts boosted the club’s position as a local golfing destination. “With an over-supply of courses, the golf marketplace in Ireland is very competitive. The Fingal area here in North Dublin is one of the most heavily populated areas for golf clubs in Europe, therefore, as a team, we recognise the importance of ensuring our golf course marketing is up to par in terms of new and innovative marketing campaigns that best place us to reward existing members and to attract new members. Whilst the initial value of the 20 new memberships is €15K, these new members bring with them the potential membership value of €18,500 in 2020 and over €185,000 over the next 10-year period – not bad for a three-week marketing campaign that capitalised off the comradery behind the world’s favorite golfer and tournament. We are delighted to welcome our 20 new members to our ever-growing membership base.” Says Andy Kenny, Director at Synergy Golf, management at St. Margaret’s Golf & Country Club.
“I’m a huge fan of Tiger Woods and I just knew he had it in him to win the Masters. When I saw the campaign by St. Margaret’s online, I thought wow, what a fantastic offer it was so I contacted the membership team and signed up straight away. With the bright evenings and summer months ahead, the timing was perfect to ensure that I am bound to get plenty of time on the golf course. As one of my local clubs, we regularly visit St. Margaret’s clubhouse to enjoy lunch and now I can plan this around a spot of golf too, I’m delighted.” A Winning Member Says…
Typically, golf clubs will see a drop off, approx. 10% – 20%, at the end of each membership year – some golfers leave, others retire their clubs, some prefer not to join a specific club and so on. Unfortunately, most clubs don’t see the 10%-20% being replaced year on year and this leaves them in a challenging position. As an internationally acclaimed championship course, thankfully here at St. Margaret’s we have seen a substantial growth in our membership since the management takeover by Synergy Golf. Now with over 530 members (a growth of 408 members and a 76% increase in membership in a three-year period), the club is known for its reputation as a leader for innovation, creative thinking and for rewarding members who continuously contribute to the growing success and re-investment at the club.
Andy continues: “Our team at Synergy Golf has run many clever marketing campaigns since we took over the management of the club, including our massive 10,000 green fee give away in 2016 to entice golfers back to the club post our renovations, our Srixon Series event with professional golfer Shane Lowry was a huge success and to celebrate the club’s 25th anniversary we ran a competition in 2017 to give away €25,000 to any member that got a hole in one. Our members are the backbone of what keeps the club thriving and alive in the community and for that reason, it is imperative that we continue to look at new and innovative ways to grow our base and in turn re-invest back into the course and clubhouse. “