American Marketer


Lexus tees up golf experiences for U.S. Open Championship

June 12, 2018

Lexus ambassador Jason Day. Image courtesy of Lexus


Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is appealing to golf fans as it returns to the U.S. Open Championship as the official automotive partner.

During the tournament, held from June 14 to 17 at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY, Lexus will be hosting on-site activations including a virtual reality experience and simulated golfing. The weekend-long event will allow Lexus to engage with golf fans in person, connecting over an affinity for the sport.

Driving engagement
Lexus’ efforts around the U.S. Open began weeks ahead of the competition, as the trophy was taken on a 61-day tour of the tri-state area in a Lexus LX.

At this weekend’s tournament, the automaker will be on-site with the Lexus Performance Experience. Here, visitors will be able to engage with interactive experiences.

A VR experience lets them ride as a passenger in a RC F 467-horsepower sports vehicle that is being driven around a track by a racecar driver.

For those who are interested in trying their golf abilities, a simulator recreates the seventh hole on the Shinnecock Hills golf course. This experience is also a competition, as the player who sinks a hole in one will receive a two-year lease for Lexus’ RX 350L SUV.

Lexus is also inviting consumers to “Putt Like a Pro” in a simulator.

For fans, the Lexus area will also host photo opportunities with the U.S. Open trophy and meet-and-greets with brand ambassadors including Patrick Cantlay and Jason Day (see story).

In addition to the Lexus Performance Experience, the brand will be providing 350 vehicles to shuttle players and officials. Models including the 2019 ES and UX vehicles will be displayed at the event, giving the brand further placement.

Lexus UX. Image credit: Lexus

Lexus is the first and only automotive partner in the United States Golf Association’s history.

"The U.S. Open is one of golf's most exciting majors," said Greg Kitzens, general manager of marketing at Lexus. "Our longstanding partnership with the USGA and its championships allows us to provide our customers and fans with premium experiences at the U.S. Open, connecting with them in a unique way."