The 2012 edition of the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT was nothing short of spectacular. So spectacular, that I’d like to specifically acknowledge and applaud the title sponsor, Hartford-based Travelers, as well as the Tournament Director, Nathan Grube and his hard working staff. They have yet again effectively showcased our state and world-class PGA Tour golf to the world.
As a golfer and professional golf fan myself, the ‘sell’ to get me a.) interested in attending, and b.) excited enough about the tournament to purchase ticket is easy. This isn’t the case for a vast majority of casual sports fans, or even just for folks who are only interested in the social aspect of the event. But this year’s marketing and onsite entertainment for the Travelers championship took both the experienced and casual fan into consideration – and it was done the right way.
Let’s face it, golf isn’t the world’s most exciting and exhilarating sport for kids or even adults. Most people aren’t interested in sitting or walking around an 18-hole golf course to watch other guys hit little white balls around for an afternoon. But what the folks from Travelers and the tournament did was create an entire experience for fans that made the game more fun. They offered entertainment beyond the game iteself. Nightly concerts by performers like KC and the Sunshine Band and Connecticut-native winner of NBC’s “The Voice” – Javier Colon – helped to draw in a diverse crowd and keep them there long after the last putt of the day.
What the PGA Tour and golf in general has done to almost re-invent itself over the past few years, (which I like to call the “post-Tiger Reign”) has been nothing short of remarkable. The emergence of American stars on Tour like fan favorites Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, along with Europeans like Rory McIllroy and Luke Donald, make golf easy to like and to watch, even without Tiger Woods in the picture. Using social media and the internet to their advantage, the Tour and tournaments like Travelers have also captured a segment of the population they once had a difficult time reaching. The Travelers Championship has been instrumental in appealing to the everyman and providing him (and me) with more entertainment value for the dollar.
Congratulations on a job well done to Travelers and to the tournament for another great year!