Edison Interactive (EI) today announced that Place Exchange, a supply-side platform (SSP) for programmatic out-of-home (OOH) media, will integrate with its platform dedicated to reach golfers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted interest in golfing. The country club and golf course market in the U.S., based on available data, as of February 2021 was worth $25.8 billion. The U.S. dominate the golf course industry in 2020.
The global market for golf apparel, footwear, and accessories is expected to experience a compounded annual growth rate of 4% between 2020–2024, according to a market analysis by Technavio. The golf apparel industry statistics featured in the report predict growth of $2.82 billion of which the North American marketing will make up 37%.
Place Exchange today gains access to offer ad space on thousands of connected golf carts with interactive screens on Shark Experience presented by Verizon, which leverages 4G LTE network technology to connect golf carts with high-definition touchscreen displays and built-in speakers, as well as Yahoo News, Sports and Finance.
Greg Norman, an Australian entrepreneur and retired professional golfer, developed Shark Experience now available nationwide across 33,000 connected golf carts, exclusively through Club Car.
When asked if there’s a way to determine performance of the ads running in the carts, Dave Etherington, COO at Place Exchange, said the technology enables “device-level attribution for marketers in the DSPs it integrates with. The DSPs can use the attribution methods they use for all other media to understand the outcomes that result from exposure to OOH ads.”
Captivate, the third-party sales representative for the Shark Experience advertising inventory, will work to run sales.
Technology has been slow to integrate with golf. For example, cameras, cellphones and other technologies were initially not welcome on the course. Shark Experience offers a breakthrough opportunity to reach the affluent golf audience in a captive setting. Jeremy Ostermiller, CEO and co-founder of Edison Interactive, believes it offers a unique chance to engage golfers while they do what they love.
The touchscreens have a buy feature. Food and beverage ordering has been one of the most used features of the platform and a great revenue generator for golf course operators, Ostermiller said. Edison Interactive also has run several successful campaigns that have used QR codes to push the golfer to complete a transaction on their own mobile device.
In 2022, he said, golfers will have an option to log into Shark Experience to personalize their experience, giving the golfers timely golf tips and tricks, and analyze their game.
Why now? "When we look at the success of Topgolf, over 15 million people went through their facilities in 2020," Ostermiller said. "Break that down and we can see that 5.7 million of those consumers had never played golf before. That’s the market we are trying to tap into, people who are finding golf fun, listening to music, enjoying food and beverage, being with friends and connecting with their devices. Nobody has been able to conquer this space, and that's the mission we are on with Shark Experience."
Golf surged in popularity in the latter half of 2020, because people were looking for socially distanced outdoor activities during the pandemic. The industry experienced a 13.9% increase in rounds played.