In 2017, the PGA Tour event in Fort Worth, Texas, found itself without a title sponsor, which could lead to its ejection from the PGA Tour calendar. The investment company Charles Schwab had been the Tour’s official investment firm since 1997 and was interested in taking its next step in its partnership by signing on to sponsor a local tournament. The Fort Worth tournament made special sense, because the company would relocate its headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth from its original home in San Francisco. The result has earned top prize in the “Location-Based Campaign” category of the PR Daily Awards.
Seeking to capitalize on a title sponsorship, the communications team developed a six-month plan to reinforce its support for the local community and build positive sentiment for the brand. The team built an integrated, multichannel campaign that included sports marketing, special events, executive communications, social media, internal communications and media relations.
Much of the messaging was future-focused (while celebrating the tournament’s 70-year history), with owned and earned storytelling exploring the community programs Schwab was bringing to the area. The team also helped deepen community relationships by addressing employment and other benefits of Schwab’s increased commitment to the area. Communications also helped build employee pride by enlisting employees as tournament advocates.
The campaign produced more than 9,000 pieces of earned media with a reach of 22 billion impressions. Media tours led to a dozen national and regional media interviews. The social conversation rose 2,600% during tournament week, and hundreds of Schwab employees participated in tournament-related activities.
Congratulations to all the members of the Charles Schwab Corporate Marketing and Corporate Reputation teams.