June 01, 2011

Marketing Students Tweet PGA Golf Tournament

It was an unusual site for the hallowed grounds of Colonial: TCU students wandering the golf course engrossed in their smart phones. But these students weren’t texting friends. They were posting official tweets for the 2011 Crown Plaza Invitational.

TCU TweeterThe Tweet Caddies – mostly from the Neeley School – posted up-to-the minute updates, including a player who handed a golf ball to a child, results from the caddie races on 13, players’ own tweets, and consumer offers from tournament sponsors.

“I jumped on the chance as soon as I heard about it from Dr. Low,” junior marketing major Cassie Clayton said (shown here with the statue of Ben Hogan). The job offered the perfect mix for Cassie. She is a tournament golfer and, like everyone else her age, an expert at social media. Cassie’s résumé landed her the job of Tweet Captain, pulling together everyone’s tweets and posting them on the seven digital boards on the course and two in downtown Fort Worth.

The Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial, a tournament steeped in tradition, will go down in history as the first PGA tournament to allow cell phones.  Eleven years after the turn of the 21st century, the Colonial not only allowed mobile devices at the tournament, they encouraged it.

“Golf as a sport is catching up,” Tournament Director Peter Ripa said. “The days of patrons going out with just a program and pairing sheet are gone. People have higher expectations now with social media and location media. We’re opening up golf to a new group.”

Warren Douglas, the Fort Worth advertising agency responsible for the social media plan and Tweet Caddie concept, implemented the tournament interactive marketing. Susan Nix, VP of Business Development for Warren Douglas and Marketing Chair for the tournament, said the idea to draft TCU marketing majors as Tweet Caddies was the result of indentifying strategies and tools to market and brand corporate clients throughout the tournament.

“We needed volunteers with marketing and social media skills, so we turned to TCU,” Nix said.

 “I would not have had this experience if I was not at TCU and if not for the alumni who come to the school and offer these great opportunities,” Cassie said.

TCU students who took part included: L-R front row: Rachel O’Neal (alum) and Cassie Clayton (marketing). Second row: Mallory Curtice (supply chain), Imani Suber (Social Work), Kristen Newman (marketing), Katelynn Badger (marketing). Back row: Hunter Segesta (broadcast journalism), Felix Maduro (marketing), Kevin Wilday (marketing).

TCU Tweeters frog sign