Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Firm snags marketing contract with PGA Tour

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Ryan Hart, president of Winnipeg's MF1 Marketing, says working to help launch PGA Tour Canada is a marketing coup.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Ryan Hart, president of Winnipeg's MF1 Marketing, says working to help launch PGA Tour Canada is a marketing coup. Photo Store

A local marketing company has hit a hole-in-one with its latest deal.

MF1 Marketing has signed on with the PGA Tour to help launch its new division, PGA Tour Canada, across the country this month.

Ryan Hart, president of MF1, said it is finalizing the branding, tag lines and a media campaign, all of which will be rolled out in the next two weeks.

He said there's no question partnering with one of the strongest brands in professional sports has given his firm some added cachet.

"When you can add the PGA Tour, one of the strongest brands in professional sports, to our portfolio, it helps people look at you in a different light," he said.

"The PGA Tour makes you feel like you're a partner in their business and a part of their family."

Hart said he wants to bring that same feeling to The Players Cup, one of PGA Tour Canada's eight tournaments this summer.

It will be held at Pine Ridge Golf Club from July 15 to 21 and not coincidentally, will be run by MF1 Marketing for the next three years.

PGA Tour Canada used to be known as The Canadian Tour until it was purchased by the PGA Tour last year.

In golf's hierarchy, the PGA Tour has the best players, such as Tiger Woods, and the most prestigious tournaments, such as The Masters.

The rung below is the Web.com Tour, which promotes its top 25 finishers every year to the PGA Tour, and then PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

The top five finishers every year on each of the latter two will get a fully exempt players' card to the Web.com Tour.

"This is the feeder system. It's like the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) feeding into the AHL, which feeds into the NHL," Hart said.

Jeff Monday, the Florida-based president of PGA Tour Canada, said his brain trust wanted to use a Canadian company because they felt it could communicate more efficiently with its target market as well as recognize what resonates with Canadians.

"I had seen some of the work MF1 had done for other clients and was impressed. They know the history of the Canadian Tour and its place in professional golf and they know the PGA Tour and what we do. They didn't have any learning curve to get up to speed," he said.

No financial terms of MF1's deal with PGA Tour Canada have been released.

MF1, which was founded in 1989, has 15 employees.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2013 A16

History

Updated on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6:34 AM CDT: changes headline, replaces photo

10:59 AM: Headline clarifies deal signed with PGA Tour.

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