Tunheim worked with Ryder Cup leadership to leverage the differentiation of the event and share the milestones leading up to and through the duration of the event.

Insight

In April 2002, The PGA of America announced the 2016 Ryder Cup would be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Hazeltine, which has hosted numerous championship events, including PGA Championships in 2002 and 2009, is the first club in Minnesota to host the biennial event that brings together top players from the United States and Europe in a compelling match-play event.

Story-telling opportunities around Ryder Cup’s international and match-play format were endless; very different from a PGA Tour, and a vastly different experience than the Masters. Loud and spirited cheering in the name of sportsmanship is encouraged, and an entirely different set of rules applied to Ryder Cup.

Tunheim worked with Ryder Cup leadership to leverage the differentiation and share the milestones leading up to and through the duration of the event. For more than two years, Tunheim increased Ryder Cup awareness, supported hospitality sales, facilitated relationships with local dignitaries and organizations, and established a consistent cadence with local media. Much of the front-end work laid the ground for the most successful Ryder Cup to date.

Strategy

  • Tell the Ryder Cup story in a compelling way that piques regional interest, drives conversations and captures the imagination of even the most casual fans;
  • Establish an early media cadence to set the tone as for how editors, directors, reporters, and others approach coverage for more than two years, and through matches; and
  • Establish highly organized and regular communication with regional tourism, economic development, business and civic leadership.
  • Tunheim engaged media early on [two years out] with compelling opportunities to share the Ryder Cup story;
  • Tunheim connected with key corporate, consumer and community audiences during key timeframes – ticket sales, hospitality sales, key milestones (one year out), etc. to build relationships, and keep Ryder Cup top of mind when appropriate; and
  • Collaborated and actively engaged with professional sports teams and athletes to capitalize on mutually beneficial fan promotions.

Results

  • Scheduled information desksides with local broadcast affiliates and major dailies to inform editorial approach for Ryder Cup.
  • Cultivated relationships between Ryder Cup leadership and local dignitaries and media.
  • Coordinated and supported all media relations for successful a 2015 One Year Out event, Trophy Tour appearances, Tom Lehman media availability and overwhelmingly successful 2016 Ryder Cup including:
    • More than 150 local TV interviews during Ryder Cup week with coverage every day;
    • Largest and highest-grossing Ryder Cup Shops in Ryder Cup history; and
    • Nearly 300,000 people in attendance throughout Ryder Cup week.
  • United States victory!

The 2016 Ryder Cup was held in the United States, Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.