Stay On Green: ProLink In-Golf Ad Deal

golfer Perhaps reacting to the tough economy, a company that sells ad space inside golf carts has a deal with a middleman that will acquire a chunk of its inventory and deploy it for its clients.

The agreement is between ProLink, which offers ad options on screens in carts, and Active International, which will buy space on them over the next year. It is said to be valued at up to $3 million. Some of the payment will be in cash, and the remainder as barter. ProLink did not break down the split.

Active helps media companies reduce expenses by providing services in exchange for media space. It then offers the acquired inventory to its client base. Active says it buys more than $1 billion in media a year.

ProLink, which has a presence in some 400 domestic golf courses, indicated that its agreement with Active includes swapping inventory for services, such as travel, freight and entertainment.



What is referred to as the ProLink Network runs on screens hanging in carts and uses GPS systems to offer golfers information on how far their shots are from the holes. Plus, it has maps showing water hazards and the like. Ads are static and do not yet use video.

The company pitches advertisers on the opportunity to connect with an upscale and "hard-to-reach" demo.

Publicly traded ProLink Holdings said in November that it was experiencing obstacles because of the economy. It said it expects to bring in some $2 million in ad dollars in 2009. In the July-September period last year, it brought in $300,000--half of what it garnered the year before.

Last year, it reached an agreement with a Fox-operated rep firm to sell space in the U.S., and Neo Advertising to do the same in Europe.

Until now, a single marketer has been able to run three banner-style ads per hole--two that fill a quarter of the screen, and one that fills it entirely as golfers are driving to the next hole. There have been no video ads, but the potential exists with a new touchscreen version of the system.

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