Quad Cities Tournament Wins for “Most Engaged Community” and “Social Media Activation”
The John Deere Classic received two “Best Of” honors from the PGA TOUR at the TOUR’s annual Tournament Meetings on Dec. 3.
The John Deere Classic claimed the award for “Most Engaged Community” and for “Best Social Media Activation” during the 2015 tournament at TPC Deere Run. It was the fourth time the tournament has earned the Most Engaged Community award and the first time for Social Media Activation.
“The John Deere Classic is very gratified to have been recognized by the PGA TOUR as the Most Engaged Community on the TOUR as well as for designing and executing the best Social Media Activation program on TOUR,” said John Deere Classic Tournament Director Clair Peterson. “Both awards speak to the importance the John Deere Classic places on communicating with our fans and supporters both locally and across the world.”
The Most Engaged Community award is based on attendance, volunteer support, media presentation, charity partners and year-round community involvement, according to PGA TOUR Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations Andy Pazder.
In 2015, the John Deere Classic saw record attendance - an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. In addition, the tournament added 24 new sponsors and 300 new volunteers, which brought the volunteer total to 1,750. To show its appreciation to the volunteers, the tournament highlighted one volunteer each month of the year and gave $1,000 to that volunteer to donate to the charity of his or her choice. The 2015 John Deere Classic also saw a $2.4 million increase in charitable giving over 2014, bringing the single year total to $8,739,679.
The “Best Social Media Activation” award was based on the tournament’s consistent, year-long engagement through all social media channels and outside-the-box thinking for fan engagement. Also, during tournament week, the social media team elevated fans’ overall interactive John Deere Classic experience with such features as Tweet Caddies, Fan Rewards and Fan Zones. Through social media channels, the tournament connected with fans by highlighting their community, the event’s volunteers and title sponsor.
The tournament also utilized social media to provide patrons with traffic, weather and parking-related updates. With more than 109,000 fans on Facebook, the John Deere Classic has held the top spot among all PGA TOUR events since 2014. On Twitter, the conversation about Jordan Spieth’s championship weekend performance generated 260 tweets per minute.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I am pleased to congratulate the John Deere Classic for being named the best among its peers on TOUR,” Pazder said. “The tournament committee worked tirelessly with its title sponsor on new and innovative ways to improve the tournament experience and this award is a testament to that.”
The 2016 John Deere Classic is scheduled for the week of Aug. 8-14 at TPC Deere Run, a one-time shift to accommodate the return of golf to the Olympic Games. In 2017 and beyond, the John Deere Classic will return to its normal early-July dates – the week before the British Open.
The PGA Tour began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the tournament in 1998. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
Having recently completed its 45th year, the tournament generated more than $8.73 million for its participating charities in 2015, ranking it first among regular PGA TOUR events overall in per capita contributions at $23.29 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area. The tournament’s charity contributions consistently rank among the top five overall on the PGA TOUR.
The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise more than $70.18 million for charity.
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