American Marketer


Mercedes-Benz tees off golf performance center tour at The Masters

March 30, 2011


mercedes-benz-pga-185Automaker Mercedes-Benz is strengthening its commitment and relationship to golf by hosting a mobile golf tour powered by the PGA of America.

The innovative golf-teaching tour hits the road this year, giving golfers a chance to sharpen their skills at The Mercedes-Benz Performance Center. The tour kicks off at The Masters in Augusta, GA, on April 4 and concludes at the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, CA, in the first week of December.

“[The partnership] further promotes the official patron relationship that Mercedes-Benz has with the PGA of America,” said Kevin Carter, senior director at the PGA of America, West Palm Beach, FL. “[This] brings golf to non-traditional venues, such as Mercedes-Benz dealerships.”

The connection between the PGA of America and Mercedes-Benz has existed since 2010.

Hole in one

Two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans serve as the overall performance center along with PGA professionals and high-tech golf-teaching technology for improving game skills.

The Mercedes-Benz Performance Center features GolfTEC’s g-swing full-swing analysis and g-putt putting analysis. Both systems use patented motion and video analysis capabilities.

Bernhard Langer, two-time Masters Champion, will assist at the Augusta location.

PGA professionals and Mr. Langer plan to demonstrate the performance center’s technology to local and international guests.

The Mercedes-Benz Performance Center provides a high-tech backdrop for golf enthusiasts to experience the five new vehicles that the automaker has introduced this year.

Along with The Masters, the Mercedes-Benz Performance Center will visit local dealerships and events over the next several months including the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, NC and the Senior PGA Championship in Louisville, KY.

Mercedes-Benz is marketing the challenge to golfers and consumers by engaging local media to inform guests, direct marketing, special invites for Mercedes-Benz customers and social media messaging.

Up to par

The interest of golfers in luxury cars has drawn prestige brands to create partnerships with renowned tournaments.

Mercedes-Benz is currently represented at three of the four major golf tournaments as the exclusive automotive partner.

The German-owned automaker has been involved in the professional sport of golf since the 1980s.

From 1990, Mercedes-Benz took over as the title sponsor of the Mercedes German Masters, the first professional golf tournament in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz is not the only brand sponsoring golf.

Japanese automaker Lexus has extended its ongoing partnership with the United States Golf Association (see story).

Lexus remains the exclusive automotive partner of the USGA and the official car of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. amateur golf tournaments in July and August.

Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Cartier have reached out to the hard-to-engage consumers through advertising partnerships with Conde Nast’s Golf Digest magazine (see story).

"[This is an] opportunity to have PGA Professionals provide golf instruction as the experts in the game of golf to golfers and non-golfers alike," Mr. Carter said. "It combines the expert instruction of PGA Professionals with Mercedes-Benz at their dealerships and with the use of their vehicles."

Final take

What's with cars and golf?