Sampler for Golf Events Provides Insert Opportunities

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A gift bag for survey respondents at golf events also will act as a new insert media opportunity for direct marketers starting this month.

The program will be run by promotional DM firm Sports & Entertainment Direct Inc. and will contain product samples and direct response offers as an incentive for attendees to fill out surveys.

"We have a relationship with a company called Yodawobe Data Marketing that has been going to golfing events to survey attendees and collect data for a number of years," said Bob Perlstein, president of Sports & Entertainment Direct, Marietta, GA.

Perlstein's firm specializes in sampling, branding and distribution through alternative media.

Last year Yodawobe Data Marketing Solutions Inc., Wilton, CT, told the survey sponsors that more attendees likely would fill out surveys if there were an incentive.

Sponsors agreed, and for the 2004 PGA Tour and LPGA events the incentive will be the Sports & Entertainment Direct sampler bag. The primary survey sponsor for 2004 is Callaway Golf Clubs.

"It's an exit program where as people are leaving they will be asked to fill out an on-site fan survey, and in appreciation they will be given a gift bag, which is where we come in," Perlstein said.

The program begins at the end of February with the WCG Accenture event in Los Angeles. There are 20 to 25 events nationwide for 2004 including the National Golf Expo in Boston; The Players Championship in Jacksonville, FL; Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, GA; Western Open in Chicago; Ford Senior Players Championship in Detroit; Valero Texas Open in San Antonio; The Tour Championship in Atlanta and ADT Championship in West Palm Beach, FL.

According to the PGA Tour and LPGA, typical golf event attendees are about 63 percent male, college-educated professionals with an age range of 31-60 and average household income exceeding $60,000.

Sampler packages will total about 250,000 for the year. Participants do not have to commit to the whole run but can test by event.

Perlstein said he could not reveal which companies signed on to participate but said that packaged-goods and over-the-counter type products would be included.

Still, he sees the program as a chance for direct marketers to reach an elite, upscale audience.

"It is not necessarily just about golf, it's about reaching an upscale consumer with a passion," he said. "To me the types of offers that would be no-brainers to mix with the samples would be direct marketing offers such as upscale travel magazines, golf magazines and golf apparel catalogs as well as other upscale catalogs and insert offers."

The program's cost depends upon weight and size but ranges from $80/M to $250/M for product samples and $60/M to $115/M for inserts. A full-size catalog is considered to be a sample.


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