In 2014, participation in golf fell for the fifth year in a row. Among adults 18-34, the decline from 2009 to 2013 was 13%.
Why? It's slow, takes a long time to play and it's expensive, says Matt Powell, a SportsOneSource analyst. He also points out that as a sport it doesn't reflect the kind of values that millennials care about such as diversity and inclusion. (Germano, 2014)
As you might imagine tv ratings are down too. So the PGA Tour is trying to engage fans, and enlarge their fan base, through a loyalty program. Fans get "mPoints" for doing things like checking on the tours, sharing content, selecting favorite players, viewing scorecards and signing up for fantasy golf tournaments. The points can then be redeemed for things like gift cards to Starbucks.
While the tour's properties reach about a million fans a day, the loyalty partner they have chosen -- SessionM -- reaches about 80 million people a day through about 1,500 programs for leading brands including NASCAR and the New England Patriots. (Greenberg, 2015)
So what do you think? Can they build a fan base even if people don't play golf?
Germano, S. (2014, August 1) A Game of Golf? Not for Many Millennials. wsj.com. Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-game-of-golf-not-for-many-millennials-1406159228
Greenberg, K. (2015, April 8) PGA Tour Launches reward Program Offering Points For Digital Engagement. mediapost.com. Retrieved April 9, from