Two years ago, the golf industry was rocked with articles stating how the sport wasn’t popular among millennials. After they came out in mid 2014, people speculated that golf was on a decline for various reasons. Outdated, too expensive or too stuffy were only a few reasons listed to why the sport was making it ways out. Yet, as the years since passed, it seems that people jumped the gun. In this current time, many of the world’s best and upcoming golf professionals are millennials.
Jordan Spieth is a 22 year old professional golfer who is ranked No 1 in the world. He is the youngest player to ever win five times in a single season. The last time this occurred was in 1929 when a 21 year old golfer took the elusive title from golfers older than him. As Spieth was set to play over the weekend in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament, people buzzed about his accomplishments and where he might place.
To drive a buzz about his achievements, the eight thousand attendants of the tournament received Spieth bobbleheads. For those who were not in attendance, they were not left out of the celebrations. AT&T developed numerous comedy videos that started the Spieth bobblehead and put online for everyone to see. Such marketing tactics seem odd for the sport, but it played a small part in a bigger plan to draw the interest of younger golfers.
Ryan Luckey, the assistant vice president of corporate sponsorships for AT&T, spoke to CNBC saying the following, “The PGA Tour is certainly looking to grow their fan base, and we’re seeking to grow our millennial consumer base.”
Back in 2013, up to two hundred thousand millennials are have said to have left the sport. Since then, interest in the sport has been on rise due to the change in marketing and the amount of golf superstars that are millennials. The PGA has seen a 43 percent rise in it’s website traffic and Twitter increased by 39%. 6.5 million millennials are playing golf, which is around 30% of all golfers worldwide.
As a way to get more and more people interested in picking up the club’s, various marketing teams have aimed to change their tactics to please the younger generation. By finding ways that capture millennials interests, there should be a direct correlation in the upward trajectory of more millennial golfers.
As for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Tournament? Well, it wasn’t his finest weekend as he placed outside of the top 20. The bigger winner was middle aged Vaughn Taylor.