Drive Shack hires Red Havas as it transforms business

The company is opening several driving range and entertainment locations.

NEW YORK: Golf brand Drive Shack has hired Red Havas for consumer PR supporting the opening of three locations. 

The agency will provide media and influencer relations for the venues, support the company’s flagship Orlando, Florida, location and bolster brand awareness, according to Red Havas associate VP Kellyn Curtis. The firm will also manage media activities for pre-launch events, including preview parties, opening day activations and ribbon-cutting ceremonies, Curtis added.

Jeanette Chin, corporate communications manager at Drive Shack, said in a statement that the company wanted an agency with a strong track record in food and beverage and hospitality, as well as consumer PR. She added that Havas Group’s portfolio of sports entertainment and hospitality clients piqued its interest.

Curtis is leading account work with VP SuJin Oh. Five staffers will service the account from New York, with support from Red Havas’ Pittsburgh office. They started work on the account at the beginning of July. Its budget was not disclosed.

Champion Management was the incumbent on the account. 

"We were proud to work with Drive Shack more than a year ago as they opened their first location in Orlando. Since then, virtually their entire leadership and marketing team has changed and they have elected to go in a different direction," Champion said in a statement. "We wish them nothing but success." 

Drive Shack works with Catch on advertising and brand partnerships.

The company is opening venues in Raleigh, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and West Palm Beach, Florida that will feature "new tech, enhanced gaming and updated [food and beverage] offerings," according to its Q2 earnings statement. The company is also developing seven sites where it expects to break ground in 2020 or 2021.

Drive Shack is transitioning from a traditional golf-course operator to a company focused on golf entertainment and leisure, according to its Q2 earnings statement, with food and drink venues and technology-enhanced driving ranges. Last year, Drive Shack said it is planning to sell all 26 properties owned and operated by subsidiary American Golf for $175 million, according to Drive Shack said in its Q2 earnings that it has sold 20 courses for aout $140 million. 

Havas PR merged parts of its business in North America, the U.K. and Asia-Pacific this year, forming Red Havas.

This story was updated on September 19 with comment from Champion.

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