Back in February, Everton FC announced a media partnership with R&A, the organisers of the U.K. Golf Open. Both parties would provide unique content and promotions in the run up to the event. It was the marketing platform that Everton needed, tapping into a massive niche of golf fans and locals around Liverpool, and at the same time, The Open could also benefit from the popularity of golf among Everton fans.
The partnership is the first of its kind, bringing together a Premier League football team with The Open competition. Major events around the sponsorship include the famous Claret Jug trophy visiting the USM Finch Farm training ground and Goodison Park later in the season. The launch of the campaign also saw a giveaway of exclusive Everton coloured Open Championship caps when fans bought tickets in late February.
In one of the more exciting promotions, manager Ronald Koeman played with defender Phil Jagielka and legendary former striker Graeme Sharp in The Open Challenge at the team’s training ground. The competition involved pitching at goals, nearest to the pin short shots, and long putting battles.
As if that wasn’t enough golfing excitement for Everton fans, three former Blues players played a round of 18 holes at the Royal Birkdale, the course used for the 146th Open, and were joined by the world number 21 golfer and lifelong Everton fan, Tommy Fleetwood. Graeme Sharp, Graham Stuart, and Leon Osman took part in the Birkdale Challenge and were given a masterclass by Fleetwood, who finished fourth in the U.S. Open in June.
Everton fans might be wondering how they can get involved in the Golf Open promotions. Well, Everton FC is holding an auction where bidders can win a rather unique prize. The winner of the auction will be able to play on the Royal Birkdale course less than 24 hours after The Open finishes and take two friends along with them. Not only that, but they will also be joined by Blues goal scorer Graeme Sharp for the duration. All the grandstands, media facilities, and branding will still be in place, so the winner will feel like they are playing in The Open Championship.
The auction prize also includes two nights at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool, with breakfast and dinner at the onsite restaurant, along with a tour of Goodison Park with an Everton legend.
The prize of a lifetime is part of the ‘Everton in the Community’ fundraising project, which aims to raise £230,000 to develop a housing initiative for homeless young people in Liverpool. You can make a bid by contacting EitC on 0151 530 5260.
The 2017 Golf Open Championship will take place on 20th-23rd July at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, which is around 25 miles away from Everton’s Goodison Park. Dustin Johnson is the current favourite to win with 17/2 odds on BetStars. Possibly the finest golf course in the U.K., the Royal Birkdale has held more championships and international events than any other course and this 146th Open is set to be spectacular.
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