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TV networks on course

PERTH’S commercial television networks have taken the concept of corporate golf further than most businesses.

Channel Seven and Channel Nine have developed packages that combine on-air advertising during major tournaments with corporate golf functions for the advertisers.

Channel Nine, for instance, signs up about 25 businesses each year for its Wide World of Sports club, which has been running for 13 years.

The businesses get to advertise during telecasts of the US Open, US PGA, US Masters and British Open.

As part of the package, a team from each business is able to participate in four corporate golf events, typically in the metropolitan area but sometimes further afield in places like Margaret River.

In addition, Channel Nine takes the chief executive or a top manager from each business overseas for even more corporate golf.

Sales director Michael Mitchell said the most recent executive trip was to Hawaii.

He describes the entire package as business-to-business relationship marketing, not just for Channel Nine but for each of the participating businesses.

The advertisers normally include golf retailers, established golf resorts and developers of residential land around golfing estates.

“Golf is broadly accepted as a business forum,” he said.

“There are great synergies with the advertising package.”

Mr Mitchell has also observed the evolution of corporate golf events over the 13 years Channel Nine has offered the package.

“When we started, they were fairly rudimentary in the format and presentation,” he said.

“But the expectations of golfers have lifted a lot, not least because it has become exceedingly competitive.”

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