Putting the finishing touches on an unprecedented marketing campaign that began in January, FOX Sports makes its final push toward next week’s 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash. The largest marketing effort in the history of the U.S. Open and one of the biggest ever executed by FOX Sports, the multifaceted effort comprises television, digital, print, radio and out-of-home signage advertising.
“The U.S. Open is truly one of our country’s signature and unique events,” said Robert Gottlieb, FOX Sports’ executive vice president of marketing. “It has been an honor for us to brand the event for a new generation of fans as FOX Sports prepares to serve as the official domestic broadcast partner for the first time.”
Focusing on the rich history of the U.S Open, the campaign is fronted by three distinct television spots airing across FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports’ Regional Networks, FX and local FOX broadcast network affiliates, in addition to other major cable networks, including CNN, The History Channel, Discovery Channel and Comedy Central.
The on-air promo series was introduced on FOX during January’s NFC Championship Game with the debut of the “Flag” spot, continued with the unveiling of “Anthem,” and was capped off last week with the release of “Ultimate Test,” featuring rising star Rickie Fowler.
“The goal with these spots was to create imagery that evokes the patriotism, history and tradition associated with the U.S. Open,” Gottlieb said. “This is our national championship and we wanted to illustrate just how much it is woven into the fabric of the American culture during this time of year.”
With every minute of championship action streaming live on the critically-acclaimed FOX Sports GO app, an additional promotional spot debuts this week starring FOX Sports golf reporter Holly Sonders, who demonstrates the usability of the app in various settings.
Also premiering this week is an on-air promo specifically dedicated to showcasing Chambers Bay, providing a glimpse into its breathtaking aerial views, dramatic elevation changes and imposing hazards.
Online promotional elements of the campaign include high-impact custom unit displays and videos on the GOLF, GOLFWEEK, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News websites, while social media buys appear on both Facebook and Twitter.
Print advertising was featured in Golf Digest’s “U.S. Open Preview” issue that hit newsstands this month, in addition to full-page advertisements in the New York Post and Wall Street Journal debuting Thursday, June 18, the start of championship play. A multi-market out-of-home signage commitment is highlighted by prominent placement in New York City’s Times Square, across major points of interest in Los Angeles and inside the Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, a roughly 40-minute ride from Chambers Bay.
Another unique element of the campaign is FOX Sports’ partnership with the United States Golf Association on the organization’s annual Open for All™ Trophy Tour leading up to the championship. Amidst the trophy’s estimated 5,000-mile promotional trek across the country, it was the subject of more than 40 appearances and photo opportunities, including 12 on-air appearances with local FOX affiliates, FOX News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” FOX Sports 1’s flagship studio news programs, AMERICA’S PREGAME and FOX SPORTS LIVE, and during a primetime Saturday Major League Baseball telecast on FOX.
Additional off-channel marketing initiatives included FOX Sports golf personalities competing with NASCAR drivers to land shots onto a green floating on the famous Lake Lloyd at the infield of the Daytona International Speedway during the week of the Daytona 500, and a “Caddie Attack” promotion that sees FOX Sports unleash a team of caddies throughout the streets of Seattle, offering people assistance with day-to-day activities for a video element that airs across the FOX Sports’ family of networks, local FOX affiliates and various digital platforms.
The campaign continues through the start of the championship next week as print, radio and television ads lead into FOX Sports’ television coverage that begins Thursday, June 18 at 12:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.