With the AFL Grand Final just behind us and the Spring Racing Carnival on us now and the Presidents Cup around the corner it got me thinking about the merits of golf as a corporate hospitality option. Corporations and customers alike are a lot more savvy in how they spend and/or view corporate hospitality at sporting events.
Events such as the AFL Grand Final obviously have a huge WOW factor and the scarcity and cost of tickets also make it a much sought after event. So, from a customers point of view it is a no-brainer. However, the cost to a company for the normal packages makes it a very expensive affair. A company with a $25K spend can probably only entertain 6-8 clients at the Grand Final taking into account their own staff requirements to host. This obviously rules out inviting partners of customers, an often overlooked but very important part of the client/customer relationship.
For the same $25K spend a comany could probably get a table of ten for all four days of the JB Were Masters or Emirates Australian Open. This enables the company to spread the "love" a lot further but may not be as sought after as an AFL Grand Final. You also have the issue of days 1 & 2 not being as attractive as the final two days of a tournament. The Presidents Cup is a lot more expensive than normal Australian golf tournaments but it's not often that we have the luxury of 24 of the top 50 golfers in the world playing in the one tournament.
The length of the day at a golf tournament and the non-existence of the need to concentrate intently on the game for a defined period also makes golf a good option. At the football or tennis, patrons are fully focused on the play for long periods which can dilute the ability to chat and network informally with clients. Horse racing and golf provide longer periods for companies to casually interact with clients and also, clients with clients.