When PGA Tour Champions announced it was bringing the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship to Victoria in 2016, it represented a great opportunity for local businesses to benefit from the biggest golf event to hit Vancouver Island since the 2010 Telus World Skins Game.
The week-long event saw an economic impact of $15 million in 2016, illustrating that there are many opportunities, both on a local level and a broader international level, where companies can benefit.
According to Tournament Director Brad Parkins, sponsors can use the large-scale spectator event this fall in two key ways.
“With a September time frame, companies have an opportunity to conduct internal contests that reward employees who’ve had great years, and for sales professionals who want to engage potential clients or reward valued clients, the timing couldn’t be better,” said Parkins. “Taking your employees and customers to a first-class event with full hospitality in a spectacular location, that’s a huge benefit.”
That full hospitality package is manifested in many varying ways, above and beyond watching the top golfers in the world aged 50-and-over from the best seats in the house; it’s a full week of activities incorporating the community, sports fans, avid and casual golfers, C-suite executives, young kids to mature golfers, men and women alike.
There are junior clinics, where the professionals impart their knowledge to the next group of emerging golfers. There’s also the pro-am draw party, where amateurs learn who their professional partner is for the pro-am, an opportunity not only to golf the pristine links at Bear Mountain on the tournament course during event week, but to do it alongside one of your golfing heroes.
Imagine the possibilities if you’re an employer looking to reward a great year from your top sales professional and you can sponsor them in the Pacific Links Championship Pro-Am and that person draws a 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Winner Bernhard Langer or 2016 Pacific Links Championship Winner Colin Montgomerie as a partner.
Alternatively, imagine being able to give your biggest customer that same gift and the memory would be priceless, the reward unforgettable.
Top it off with a night of fine dining and fine wine and the business possibilities are endless.
Another huge benefit to sponsors is the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship story can reach people all over the world through TV broadcast with three days of live Golf Channel coverage showcasing Victoria and British Columbia at its finest.
Patrick Meagher, with Golf Vancouver Island, a consortium which helps visitors organize golf packages, said the international exposure the Pacific Links brought to the tournament has their phones ringing off their hooks.
“I was getting calls while I was on the course from people who were watching the tournament on television,” said Meagher. “They’re saying ‘Wow, how can I get there to golf myself.’ We’re expecting to see huge spikes in visits this year because of the Champions Tour coming to Victoria.”
Meagher said their call centre has already seen record bookings from American visitors for the 2017 season.
“To have (2016 runner-up) Scott McCarron say this was his new favourite course and for (2016 champion) Colin Montgomery say he judges courses by how many weak holes there are and he didn’t see one on the Mountain Course, that makes our job easy. We are marketing a 5-star golf experience.”