Golf Channel Drives Father's Day Initiative

The Golf Channel has teed off a companywide initiative honoring dads across America.

The Comcast Corp.-owned network’s "Father’s Day Dream Trip" will celebrate the emotional connection between fathers, their children and golf. As part of the multimedia campaign that will run through June 15, Father’s Day and the final round of the U.S. Open tournament.

The core of the Father’s Day Dream Trip campaign is an essay contest that encourages consumers to submit a story that recounts a life lesson learned from their fathers through golf.  Photos and videos can support any entry. The winning entry, holing a trip of a lifetime for a father and his son or daughter to the home of golf at St. Andrews in Scotland, will be announced during the network’s Live From the U.S. Open telecast on Father’s Day.

In addition to the grand prize, 25 semifinalists will each receive a Golf Channel prize pack, including a $50 gift card from Dick’s Sporting Goods and a dozen TaylorMade golf balls. Five finalists, selected by an internal panel of judges and online voters, will receive a trip to the 2008 U.S. Open in San Diego, in addition to other prizes. The grand-prize winner, aside from the excursion to St. Andrews and the prize pack, will receive a $5,000 gift card from Dick’s Sporting Goods and $5,000 worth of golf equipment and apparel from TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

A dedicated Father’s Day Dream Trip micro-site will serve as the “headquarters” for the campaign, providing consumers with a chance to enter the essay contest, send Father’s Day e-cards, view entries, watch Father’s Day videos recorded by celebrities and professional golfers, including PGA Tour stars, and take a virtual tour of St. Andrews.

Among the other Golf marketing initiatives: a national affiliate campaign with local sweepstakes, which already has signed on more than 250 cable systems, representing more than 50 million homes; print advertising in Golf Digest; heavy promotion on the Golf Channel; and the integration of Father’s Day themes in the network’s franchise shows.

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ involvement will encompass Father’s Day Dream Trip messaging in-store; on the company’s consumer Web site; via customer e-mail and direct mail; and in its Sunday circular. TaylorMade-adidas Golf also will include messaging on its Web site and customer e-mail, in addition to involving PGA Tour players it sponsors.

 “If you’ve ever played the game of golf, chances are it was your father who placed that golf club in your hands for the very first time,"  said Golf Channel president Page Thompson in a statement. "And, most likely, it was your father who taught you the lessons that have not only served you well on the golf course, but also in life,”