Golf marketing will gain even more traction with Southwest Airlines' new national partnership with the Sports Illustrated Golf Group (SIGG). The relationship will center around creating unique experiences for golf fans tailored to the four largest U.S.-based championships of 2012 (the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup) entitled Sports Illustrated at the Majors.
Southwest says at each of these four major tournaments, instructors from the network of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers will offer swing tips, while journalists and celebrity guests will provide instant tournament analysis from the stage right in front of fans.
Golf fans also will be able to attend the "SI at the Majors" presented by Southwest Airlines, where Sports Illustrated will enhance its coverage of golf's majors by employing additional expert voices and on-site coverage on Golf.com and SI.com.
"The partnership makes perfect sense for an airline that golfers love because Golf Bags Fly Free on Southwest. Our customers have told us repeatedly they would rather spend their hard-earned dollars on activities at their destination rather than on bag fees," Southwest Chief Marketing Officer Dave Ridley said.
In addition to the stage locations at each of the four tournaments, Southwest Airlines will host an additional event in conjunction with Sports Illustrated at Piedmont Park in Atlanta to celebrate the airline's new service to the Atlanta market. April 5 through 8, golfers of all abilities will be able to participate, Southwest says.
A championship-style putting green, complete with scoreboard, caddies and marshals, is being constructed so that professionals are not the only ones allowed "inside the ropes" at a major.
Every visitor will have a chance to register for a drawing to win a trip to the next Sports Illustrated at the Majors experience in San Francisco. Also, those who make the designated championship putt of the day will be entered into a daily drawing for two roundtrip tickets to any Southwest Airlines destination.
The schedule and locations for the Sports Illustrated at the Majors presented by Southwest Airlines, include:
• The Masters, April 3-8
Augusta: National Hills Shopping Center
• US Open, June 14-17
San Francisco: Union Square Park
• PGA Championship, Aug. 9-12
Kiawah Island, S.C.: Freshfields Village
• Ryder Cup, Sept. 27-30
Chicago: Navy Pier
Golf Magazine is part of media company the SI Golf Group. The magazine has a circulation of 1.4 million golf enthusiasts with a readership of 6.1 million.Sports Illustrated has a weekly audience of nearly 22 million adults.