September 27, 2022
Presidents Cup Ends with Record-Setting Success
Three years of PR, media planning culminates with more than 500 placements and 100+ million impressions
Over the past three years, Luquire’s public relations and media teams have been working to bring to life the Presidents Cup – a biennial PGA TOUR match play golf event pitting the best American players against an International team of golfers from all over the world, excluding Europe. Luquire has a long history of involvement in working with the PGA TOUR and PGA of America to bring big-time golf events to the Queen City, including the 2017 PGA Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship held each spring at Quail Hollow Club. But there have never been as many eyes on an event as there were on last week’s Presidents Cup.
Originally scheduled for September 2021 at Quail Hollow (the event was delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic), Luquire was tapped in the summer of 2019 to begin stirring up excitement for the tournament’s eventual touchdown on U.S. soil. To build awareness and anticipation for the Cup’s turn in Charlotte, Luquire worked closely with the PGA TOUR to host a weeklong Charlotte activation concurrent with the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia, including a celebrity golf competition and a series of brewery watch parties.
Then, in the fall of 2021, Luquire worked its media relations magic alongside the TOUR as Charlotte played host to U.S. Team Captain Davis Love III and International Team Captain Trevor Immelman. The Captains Visit involved a weeklong local media blitz to help capitalize on opportunities in Charlotte and surrounding markets for promoting the start of ticket sales one year out from the tournament. In just one week, the Luquire team secured more than two dozen local media placements resulting in 4.5 million impressions.
Since the Captains Visit last fall, Luquire has continued to work closely with its communications and media counterparts at the PGA TOUR to ensure the Presidents Cup’s success locally, as well as on a national scale. The teams met regularly to shore up local earned and paid media strategies that would reach both avid sports fans as well as those who would come to the tournament strictly for the food, drink, celeb sightings and photo opps.
Luquire recognized that local media opportunities served as the perfect module to introduce the Charlotte market to this international event in its backyard, a unique style of golf – match play – and the various lifestyle components that go along with putting together a global event. In the months leading up to the tournament, Luquire played a lead role in showcasing the Presidents Cup’s commitment to the city of Charlotte, highlighting to local media the Cup’s Charlotte-centric culinary offerings like Noble Smoke, Viva Chicken and Two Scoops Creamery and its opportunity-elevating philanthropic ethos.
This year’s Presidents Cup leaned into Charlotte’s citywide goal of advancing economic mobility by focusing its philanthropic efforts on nonprofits that help boost opportunity – including NXT/CLT, the Augustine Literacy Project and the First Tee of Greater Charlotte. The Presidents Cup also hosted the first-ever Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup at Quail Hollow Club featuring six HBCU golf programs from around the country, and the Charlie Sifford Leadership Summit where PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan announced a total of $2 million to Charlotte causes and groups, including $575,000 to the Charlotte Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative. A Charlotte native, Sifford was the first Black American to play on the PGA TOUR and a four-time tournament winner, World Golf Hall of Fame member, University of St. Andrews Honorary Doctor of Law and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Luquire helped secure more than 50 local placements on these efforts, including write-ups and segments from Axios Charlotte, Charlotte Sports Live and The Charlotte Post.
In lieu of a traditional media day, the Luquire PR team helped secure advance week exclusives for dozens of local media outlets, with each outlet tapping into a unique part of the 550,000 square feet of hospitality buildout. For instance, Queen City News got a first look at the largest first tee stadium in Presidents Cup history, WCNC previewed the Cup’s ode to Charlotte’s South End, WSOC got a sneak peek at the Citi Interactive Lounge, and longtime Charlotte Observer sports columnist Scott Fowler profiled Quail Hollow Club President Johnny Harris who was instrumental in bringing the Presidents Cup to the Southeast for the first time in its nearly 30-year history.
And the TOUR also leaned heavily on Luquire’s media team to help promote the event locally via paid channels. In addition to helping secure commercial placements on traditional broadcast networks – including television’s WBTV, WSOC and WAXN, and radio’s WRFX and iHeart streaming – the Luquire team also worked to deliver a premier out-of-home experience, partially wrapping six LYNX light rail train cars and placing a handful of digital billboards. The team was also responsible for light pole signage running the length of Barclay Downs Drive in the prominent SouthPark business district near Quail Hollow Club. In all, Luquire’s paid media team secured nearly 14 million impressions in its event campaign.
Tournament week began not quite bright but definitely early with the team staffing morning (read 4 a.m.) local media standups at the Quail Hollow entrance to give Charlotteans their first glance at the completed build. As the week progressed, the Luquire PR team had boots on the ground in the Quail Hollow media center, securing and staffing upwards of 40 interviews between local media outlets and high-profile Presidents Cup executives like Johnny Harris, Presidents Cup Executive Chairman Johno Harris, Presidents Cup Executive Director Adam Sperling, Quail Hollow Director of Greens and Grounds Keith Wood, and a local media scrum with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
In all, the PR team secured more than 500 placements throughout the past year (and hundreds more in the two years prior) – of which more than half were secured during Presidents Cup week – for a total of nearly 110 million impressions. TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan remarked during the Cup’s closing ceremony, “By virtually every measure, this Presidents Cup has been a great success – the greatest success we’ve had as an event.”
Commissioner, we couldn’t agree more.