Byron Nelson Championship’s ‘Argyle Army’ targets 18-to-34 demographic

Byron Nelson Championship’s ‘Argyle Army’ targets 18-to-34 demographic

By Michael Smith, Staff Writer


Payne Stewart would be proud of the new marketing theme for the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

The mid-May PGA Tour event, in tandem with ProPac Marketing, this week rolls out a marketing plan — “Argyle Army” — designed to drench Dallas in the argyle pattern that Stewart once made so trendy on tour.

“What we’ve found in the research is that the crowd at the Byron Nelson is really trending older,” said Mike Chisum, general manager of business development for Dallas-based ProPac. “What we wanted to do was bring the fun back to the event and make it more of a high-energy event. So a lot of the marketing we’ve got planned is geared to the 18-to-34 crowd.”

The series of argyle-themed marketing events leading up to the tournament is designed to extend its footprint beyond the week of golf with what organizers called one of its most extensive campaigns in the history of the tournament. Tournament organizers say they want the campaign to draw a younger audience and boost attendance for an event that comes on the heels of the Players Championship.

The tourney will hit hot spots around Dallas in argyle-adorned off-road vehicles.
Financial specifics of what the tournament is spending on Argyle Army weren’t available, but comparable mobile marketing campaigns would run in the high five figures to six figures.

The mobile tour, which features off-road vehicles painted in argyle patterns, will hit many of the popular areas around Dallas over the next six weeks, especially restaurants and bars.

ProPac also is working with the tournament to schedule “Meet the Pro” outings around the city, including Texas Rangers games.

“In our surveys, we asked people why they didn’t go to the tournament and a lot of them said they just didn’t know it was going on until that week,” Chisum said. “A big part of what we’re doing is just getting the message out there that the Nelson is coming.”

The tournament also is taking its argyle theme into TopGolf locations to award tickets to top scorers. TopGolf is a driving range that serves food and drinks, and golfers score based on their ability to hit certain targets. In May, one of the top scorers will compete against a PGA Tour pro at a TopGolf facility.

Another trendy site, Katy Trail, a running trail through Dallas that attracts close to 20,000 people per week, will have sidewalk advertising in argyle. This is the first time the trail has featured advertising, which Chisum referred to as “ground graphics.”

During the Saturday of the tournament, organizers will try to convince as many players and caddies as possible to wear argyle. The tournament also has asked the tour for permission to paint a giant argyle pattern on the hill below the 17th tee.

“The scope and reach of the campaign has to be one of the largest efforts made on behalf of a tour tournament,” said Frank Accettulli, HP’s program manager for the event. “The activation will generate more buzz, create more awareness and have a positive impact on attendance.”