4 Effective Practices Humana Fits IntoTheir Pro Golf Sponsorships
You are assessing your portfolio of sports sponsorships and have determined that your company's involvement in professional golf tournaments has the greatest potential to deliver real value and maximum impact if properly executed. You’ve followed Humana’s golf sponsorship strategy with great interest and identified several effective practices they are using which, when performed together, deliver more bang for the buck. They are:
1. Sponsor The Tour(s)
Humana is the “Official Health Benefits provider" of the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. As referenced in the Corporate Partners section on PGATour.com, “this partnership, now in its fourth year, brings Humana's industry-leading solutions to golf fans nationwide - and helps us make a positive impact in communities the PGA Tour and Humana serve.”
According to Sports Business Journal, “such deals typically run in the low seven figures annually, industry analysts say, depending on the amount of media and hospitality involved.”
Key Takeaway: Ascertain Official Marketing Partner Status to own your category.
2. Sponsor Tour Player(s)
In his role as a consultant to Humana, our colleague, Bill Colvin, secured professional golfer sponsorships with PGA Tour pros: David Toms, Davis Love III, Brett Quigley, Harris English and Bo Van Pelt. These pros serve as ambassadors for the Humana brand and when possible, play in tournaments where Humana has a major presence.
Since signed by Humana, David Toms was the recipient of the 2011 Payne Stewart Award and Davis Love III was named the Captain of the 2012 Ryder Cup team. The honors bestowed on these players while representing Humana as brand ambassadors create a “halo effect in golf” that also rubs off on the Humana brand.
Update (2013): Negotiating on behalf of his client, Humana, our colleague, Bill Colvin, recently signed golfing legend and physical fitness advocate Gary Player to be the healthcare provider's well-being ambassador.
Key Takeaway: Pick the right players to represent your brand.
3. Sponsor A Tour Event
Humana seized the opportunity to lend its name and support to the legacy event formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic when the PGA Tour added a lever to the tournament that could be sustained over time rather than just one week of play.
As reported in the Sports Business Journal,” the changing paradigm of the health insurance industry played into the Tour’s hands. Humana is transforming itself from a health insurance company to a health and well being company.”
More from the SBJ article: "The idea behind the rebranding is that if Humana can encourage and educate its customers to take better care of themselves, the company will have fewer claims. It’s a popular movement in the insurance industry that is typically viewed as good for the company and good for the customer.”
Key Takeaway: Commit to a Title sponsorship only if the parameters can be set by you (the sponsor).
4. Forge A Unique Partnership With A Worthwhile Charity.
The PGA Tour set the stage for Humana to become the title sponsor of the Hope Classic by persuading former President Bill Clinton to use the tournament as a platform for the Clinton Foundation. In turn, the tie-in with the Clinton Foundation and its conference on health and well being lined up with the goals of Humana’s paradigm shift cited in effective practice #3.
Key Takeaway: Align the cause to the business of your Title sponsorship.
The aforementioned Sports Business Journal article also makes note of the role the Colvin Sports Network played (along with Humana’s other agencies) in crafting the four way partnership between the Clinton Foundation, the PGA Tour, Humana and the tournament now named the Humana Challenge.
Bill Colvin is constantly working with Humana and his other corporate clients to help ensure the success of their golf sponsorships. He can be reached on his cell at 216-272-7779 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: billcolvin.
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Update (2012): CSN congratulates Humana Brand Ambassador and former Ryder Cup Team Captain Davis Love III on being named the recipient of the 2013 USGA Bob Jones Award - the USGA's highest honor.
Update (2012): CSN congratulates the Humana Challenge on being named the Sports Event of the Year at the 2012 Sports Business Awards.
Humana Challenge logo credit: Humana Challenge
Photo Credit, Humana Consultant Bill Colvin with Golfing Legend and Humana Brand Ambassador Gary Player: Courtesy of Colvin Sports Network