Jeld-Wen Tradition Tees Up New Oregon Investment
It’s All about Sponsor Synergy
By Alyse Vordermark

When it comes to the PGA Champions Tour, the Jeld-Wen Tradition ranks at the top of the list for ratings on The Golf Channel. You know what that means—businesses jump at the chance to advertise during the tournament broadcast.

That’s great news for The Golf Channel, but what does that mean for the Jeld-Wen Tradition? For Oregon? 1) The Reserve Golf Club gets lots of airtime, thus promoting its outstanding course to potential visitors. 2) Tradition sponsors gain more recognition and receive greater value for their financial investment. 3) Oregon grows its reputation as a professional sports state and a good place to invest money.

It’s all about synergy.

Northwest Airlines, based in Eagan, Minn., knows that their participation in the tournament is good for business. Northwest recently began offering the only non-stop flight to Tokyo from PDX and will be offering a non-stop flight from PDX to Honolulu in December. “It’s a great event that will help us get to know the market better,” comments Kurt Ebenhoch, Director of Media Relations for Northwest Airlines. “We have been working to elevate awareness of Northwest Airlines in the Portland area.”

What better market audience than golfers, fans and participants of the PGA Champions Tour—the same people who could take advantage of Northwest Airlines’ new services for business travel.

Money comes into Oregon attracted not only by a high-profile PGA tournament but also by the Port of Portland. Without the Port of Portland bringing Northwest’s new service to PDX, Northwest Airlines would have no reason to spend money at the Jeld-Wen Tradition to promote their service. “It’s great to see a company like Northwest Airlines who’s been a part of the community since 1938, continuing to demonstrate their commitment to Oregon,” says Bill Wyatt, Executive Director of the Port of Portland. “We know Northwest is a community-oriented company which will contribute to our state for years to come.”

This is synergy at work.

AT&T Wireless is a national sponsor of the PGA Champions tour. When asked about the Jeld-Wen Tradition, John Laurant, partner of Forge Sponsorship, AT&T Wireless’ sports marketing firm, praises the title sponsor. The high-income audience that the Jeld-Wen Tradition attracts is the market AT&T Wireless wants. “We know the tournament is going to be top flight.” Corporate people tend to gravitate toward golf, says Laurant. “I don’t go out and play football with my clients.” Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream Aerospace, sponsor of the Tradition’s Pro-Am, enjoys the hospitality aspect of the tournament. “Golf is a superb environment for Gulfstream to entertain our customers and prospects,” says Robert Baugniet, corporate communications for Gulfstream. And they are bringing in the big guns for this one. As this is an important event for the company, Gulfstream will have senior executives on hand to entertain guests, according to Baugniet.

The influx of non-local attendees has a direct impact on the state’s hospitality businesses. The out-of-state visitors that sponsors attract directly benefit Oregon’s hotels, bars and restaurants—not to mention other entertainment venues like museums or shopping malls that are likely to see an increase in attendance. It’s estimated that corporate sponsor attendees alone will reserve 3,000 room-nights during the tournament.

Mikron Industries, based in Kent, Wash., is a supplier of window and door systems to Jeld-Wen and is a first-time sponsor of the tournament. Jeld-Wen is an important customer of Mikron’s, says Dick Morgan, vice president of sales and marketing. Mikron Industries certainly has a stake in the success of Jeld-Wen’s endeavors—two out of three of their plants are key servicing facilities for Jeld-Wen. It’s about keeping relationships strong with major customers, according to Morgan. “We care about what they care about,” says Morgan.

They say a lot of business gets done on the fairway: that’s true at tournaments as well. By the time the trophy is presented for the second annual Jeld-Wen Tradition, it’s estimated that $9 million will have flowed into Oregon because of this PGA Champions Tour stop. So whether it’s for customer relations or market generation reasons, non-Oregon businesses are investing in Oregon’s economy – a key to re-invigorating a healthy economy.

Oregon Golf Industry Builds a “Tradition” for Economic Development
By Paul Swangard

A year ago, I wrote about the emerging role the golf industry is playing in the state’s economic development efforts. While our founding Pioneers saw potential for farming and forestry, new Pioneers have visions of foursomes and front nines. Whether it’s Bandon, Beaverton, or Bend, golf has become a growth component for Oregon-based course operators, equipment manufacturers and tourism programs.

Need proof? Look no further than the upcoming Jeld-Wen Tradition presented by Umpqua Bank. The Champions Tour event returns to Aloha for its second year from Aug. 23-29, featuring a cavalcade of golf stars rarely seen in these parts. The event will draw an estimated 65,000 people through the gates of the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, many of whom will spend a night or two in a local hotel, eat a meal or two at a local restaurant and infuse the local economy with money that would have been otherwise spent elsewhere.

Based on a study conducted here at the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, the event will pump nearly $9 million into the local economy.

That direct spending becomes a catalyst for future economic gains. The money circulates in the local economy providing a ripple effect—tourism gets a boost through the national media exposure and corporate sponsors generate new business opportunities that can lead to job growth and future local investment. All this created by watching 50+ year-old men chase around a little white ball…

What makes the effort in Aloha this summer so special? It’s a great example of Oregon business creating business for Oregon. Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen stepped up to the plate to be the lead sponsor and relocated the tournament to Oregon. Beaverton-based Peter Jacobsen Productions manages the event and the Reserve in Aloha provides the championship caliber venue. For Jeld-Wen, this is clearly a marketing investment first with great brand awareness and hospitality opportunities available during the tournament. But it is also a great investment in Oregon…creating an economic event that could just as easily been held in Arizona or California.

The Jeld-Wen Tradition establishes a great model for Oregon-based businesses to follow. An LPGA tournament in Portland and a Nationwide Tour event in Eugene offer other opportunities for local investment in September, and there’s a homerun to be hit if the PGA TOUR were to make a stop in the state. These great events serve as a showcase for the golf industry in Oregon, promoting the state’s rich natural beauty and they contribute to potential business growth from the coast to beyond the Cascades.

In the midst of the ongoing debate about where Oregon’s economy will find new opportunities, the golf industry remains my favorite “green” business.

BrainstormNW - August 2004

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