PGA Debuts Digital Makeover in Time for Championship

Turner Sports, which owns the PGA, redesigned the golf association’s website with live video, chats, scorecards, and photo galleries in time for the championship this past weekend.

“To capitalize on the social media frenzy surrounding live sports, will debut Social Caddy, a live and aggregated feed that looks to capture relevant social information from the Twittter, Facebook, and Instagram firehoses,” reported AdWeek’s Charlie Warzel.

Walker Jacobs, executive vice president of Turner digital ad sales, told AdWeek that the new PGA Championship website was just the beginning of its digital push.

“I believe we will continue to push the boundaries,” he said. “For example, when you have users authenticate [with their cable providers to stream video online], it allows us to enhance what we can do. I can imagine a time in the future when we can afford the users even more and more control of the entire experience.”

The PGA Championship website was sponsored by Mercedes Benz, CBS Sports, and Omega, among others.

PGA’s move to the digital space is an attempt to capitalize on sports fans tendency to be active participants online.

“For marketers, the growing array of sports-related activity creates multiple opportunities to reach fans,” according to a 2012 eMarketer report. “Digital marketers have a chance to piggyback on the active interest sports inspire in people, well beyond the games themselves.”

A quarter of all 18- to 34-year-olds and 21.2 percent of 35- to 49-year-olds have visited online sports sites, the report found.

A 2010 study by Burst Media found that 59 percent of sports fans turn to the web for stats and scores, 47 percent search for sports commentary on the internet, and 35.6 percent watch online sports highlights, clips, and videos.

Considering Turner’s recent purchase of Bleacher Report for a reported $175 million, the brand is showing that it’s dedicated to sports in the digital space. Golf fans are the latest sports followers to reap the benefits.

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