Carmakers to Return to Golf Sponsorships

Earlier this month, I highlighted research showing the rise in consumer intent to purchase new vehicles (Ad-​ology Research) and growth in ad campaigns by auto marketers (Borrell Associates). Automakers are taking no chances with their marketing strategy and are increasingly returning to sports sponsorships. This week brought news that luxury automakers are again sponsoring golfing events.

Mercedes-​Benz is sponsoring the British Open which takes place in Sandwich, England. The company has recently sponsored other golfing events including the Masters and the P.G.A. Championship. And Jack Ewing, writing for the New York Times, notes the automaker hopes to successfully bid for sponsorship of the United States Open once the current Lexus deal expires in 2015. BMW is another luxury automaker with an sponsorship interest in golf. This investment is understandable because the income demographics of golfers match those of consumers who would likely buy a luxury automobile.

Cadillac, the luxury brand from General Motors, is also back into the golf sponsorship arena this year. The company took a break from many of its established sports marketing ties during its recent period spent in bankruptcy. The brand is now an umbrella sponsor of World Golf Championships. The first event took place in Doral, FL in March.  Cadillac expects to have a presence at PGA Tour events through 2016. Regarding the brand’s investment in this area, Don Butler, Cadillac Marketing Vice President, says, “We reach the right audience. We reach it in the right way.”

[Sources: Ewing, Jack. Mercedes Hopes a Good Walk Brings Spoils. NYTimes. 13 Jul. 2011. Web. 25 Jul. 2011; Reynolds, Associated Press. PGA​.com. 2011. Web. 25 Jul. 2011;
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.