The Solheim Cup: The premier event in women’s golf – and possibly the best golf club demo event ever?
Well, it is, if you’re Ping.
Capitalizing on the biennial event that’s named after company founder Karsten Solheim, Ping was one of the competition’s three global partners along with Rolex and Irish bank, AIB. After its original 10-event sponsorship contract ended with the LPGA, Ping renewed for another eight Solheim Cups through 2015. The seven-figure deal includes marketing collateral, naming rights and on-site opportunities. (A separate agreement covers TV exposure, such as commercial inventory, a “chairman’s message” and features, which Ping used to promote its nFlight Fitting system.)
The on-site benefit couldn’t have been more timely: Ping used it primarily for three fitting bays to showcase its new G15 and i15 lines, which hit stores the Monday of Solheim Cup week.
The results? Nearly 700 formal fittings and 350 demos (consumers just testing clubs on their own), according to Pete Samuels, Ping’s director of communications.
He said the tally really can’t be compared with results from other Ping demo events because they are typically one-day sessions lasting three to four hours. At the Solheim Cup, Ping club-fitting specialists worked virtually all day, Monday through Sunday.
Said Samuels about the numbers: “They’re a bit off the charts.”