Crowne Plaza's golf-themed sweepstakes on par with pros

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is best known as a brand servicing corporate meetings and the business traveler. In an effort to drive business during the summer, Crowne Plaza decided to implement a full marketing effort focused around golf.

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is best known as a brand servicing corporate meetings and the business traveler. In an effort to drive business during the summer, Crowne Plaza decided to implement a full marketing effort focused around golf.

Idea: The Pro for a Day sweepstakes is one element accompanying the brand's first-ever television ad campaign and its title sponsorship of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, a PGA tournament. As a tie-in with the professional event, the sweepstakes will offer 72 winners a trip to Fort Worth, TX, to play against one another in the Crowne Plaza Amateur Invitational at Colonial, a re-creation of the PGA event, complete with VIP treatment, personal caddies, and access to the clubhouse.

Tools: "Sweepstakes [in general] don't do anything for upscale clientele like these hotel guests," said Kevin Kowalski, VP of brand management at Crowne Plaza. The experiential nature of the prize is what he expects will drive entrants. The sweepstakes Web site, www.crowneplaza.com/proforaday, will go live on the sweepstakes launch date, and golf titles will be targeted for media hits. With 36,000 rooms in the US, Crowne Plaza will rely heavily on the hotels themselves for promotion. Crowne Plaza guests this summer will be automatically entered and will also get a commemorative Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial divot repair tool. Themed drinks, like the "Birdie," and PGA viewing parties at hotel locations will accompany the promotional effort's overall golf theme.

Measurement: Winners will be announced August 17; the tournament will take place in October. Crowne Plaza will look at business trends to determine growth and compare year-over-year summer business numbers. Feedback and reactions from guests and winners will also be collected.

Company:  Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Campaign:  Pro for a Day
PR team:  Weber Shandwick
Other marketing:  Web site, in-hotel and television advertising
Launch:  May 1
Budget:  Undisclosed

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