Since 2012, Dittoe PR has worked alongside the Western Golf Association to promote the BMW Championship, the penultimate event in the FedExCup Playoffs that invites the 70 best golfers in the world to compete for a $9 million prize. 2019 marked Dittoe PR’s fourth BMW Championship partnership to date and we were thrilled to be back. Held at the iconic Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, our team of PR experts were excited for another year of building awareness and stimulating excitement around the tournament’s return to the Chicago suburbs.

Building Awareness Pre-Tournament
One major change for the 2019 BMW Championship was the date change, with the tournament moving from September to August. This shift allowed us to no longer compete with the back-to-school season or the return of NFL and NCAA football. Despite losing a month of promotion efforts, it allowed us to break through the noise and dominate the month of August.

During the months leading up to the tournament, Dittoe PR built brand awareness for the tournament by utilizing various pitching angles to secure meaningful media coverage. These efforts included promoting holiday ticket packages, spectator initiatives and newsworthy hospitality options.

Another key tactic in our strategy to secure top-tier coverage in the Chicagoland area was being able to promote important spokespeople from the PGA TOUR, Western Golf Association and the Medinah Country Club. For instance, we were able to leverage notable PGA TOUR players like Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley as well as golf analysts Steve Sands and Mark Rolfing. By working with such notable talent, we were able to deliver new perspectives and insights for the tournament, leading to pre-promotional coverage in outlets such as the Aurora Beacon-News, WGN Radio, 670 The Score, Daily Herald and more.

Dittoe PR also assisted in the planning for the annual media day for the BMW Championship. Through our efforts, the BMW Championship Media Day invited more than 75 attendees, which led to more than 25 pieces of media coverage for an estimated ad rate of $226,000.

Tournament Week
In addition to all the national outlets that typically cover golf, such as ESPN, The New York Times and Golfweek who attend every major PGA TOUR tournament, we spent the week inviting media contacts outside the sports vertical to come on-site at Medinah Country Club and highlight the 2019 BMW Championship.

One noteworthy story angle during tournament week was a new hospitality venue called “Tiny House”, a 320-square-foot venue valued at $95,000 that was located just feet away from the 14th hole. This amenity allowed one lucky fan to stay in the “Tiny House” throughout tournament week and stay overnight at the historic club – which was never been done at a PGA TOUR event. This opportunity provided an amazing, one-of-a-kind tailgating experience for the golf fan and 15 of his guests. This feature garnered coverage with numerous outlets in the regional area such as WGN-TV and with national outlets such as Forbes.com.

In addition to stellar print and digital coverage, NBC Chicago also came on-site and did an entire live morning show from Medinah Country Club, which included numerous hits from the course as well as traffic and weather reports. We also invited meteorologist and traffic reporters to get out of the studio and deliver their reports from Medinah Country Club. By taking advantage of every media medium available, we were able to maximum the reach of the story and expand the audience.

The Evans Scholars Foundation
In addition to promoting the 2019 BMW Championship, Dittoe PR also proudly promotes the Evans Scholars Foundation, which is the sole charitable beneficiary of the BMW Championship. This organization provides full tuition and housing scholarships to deserving young caddies with limited financial needs.

Evans Scholars have an important presence at every BMW Championship and had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing initiatives, many of which drove compelling storylines for media coverage.

For instance, for the first time in more than a decade, Evans Scholars recipient got caddie for the pros during the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, the largest single-day fundraising event for the Foundation. This gave Scholars like Sarahi Ortiz the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to caddie for golf legends like 81-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods.

As part of another initiative with the Evans Scholar’s Foundation, Dittoe PR coordinated with the PGA TOUR for Grammy-award winning artist Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish to surprise an Evans Scholar with a signed guitar and tickets to an upcoming show. This meet-and-greet lead to stories in outlets such as CMT.com.

The Evans Scholars also received a final treat with a surprise meet-and-greet with members of the Chicago Bears, including quarterback Mitch Trubisky and cornerback Kyle Fuller. You can read about this special moment in the Chicago Tribune.

Results
In total, more than 130,000 spectators attended the 2019 BMW Championship, and Dittoe PR secured more than 491 media hits, resulting in more than $8.4 million in total publicity value. We’re pleased to say these numbers made this tournament the most successful to date.

We’re so proud to have played such an integral role in the 2019 BMW Championship and look forward to continuing to work with the Western Golf Association for the for the 2020 BMW Championship, which is set to take place at the Olympia Fields Country Club.