The PLAYERS Championship: Marketing to a National and International Audience

JAMA Players Championship

ThePlayers

Matt Rapp, executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship, will join JAMA to discuss how his team is promoting the tournament to national and international markets. There was a 6% increase in tickets sales for the 2015 tournament. Of the tickets sold, only 47% of those came from the 5-county (Duval, St. Johns, Baker, Clay and Nassau) area. The increase in out-of-market sales directly corresponds with the national and international marketing dollars put towards the tournament. For THE PLAYERS to grow, more people need to come from national and international markets.

About the Event

This unique event will be hosted at the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra beach. The event will take place in Pub 17 at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse. One free drink ticket will be included in the price of the ticket and additional drinks can be purchased at the cash bar.

About the Speaker

DECEMBER 3: Matt Rapp, SVP & Executive Director of THE PLAYERS in front of the 18th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. (Photo by Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)
DECEMBER 3: Matt Rapp, SVP & Executive Director of THE PLAYERS in front of the 18th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
(Photo by Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

Matt Rapp is senior vice president with the PGA TOUR, overseeing THE PLAYERS Championship and the Web.com Tour Championship.

Rapp has led THE PLAYERS Championship since the conclusion of the 2010 event and has focused on significantly enhancing the fan experience, increasing the event’s charitable impact and reinvigorating its vital connection with the local community. Under his leadership, the event has seen dramatic spikes in all categories, most notably in attendance (up 36 percent) and sponsorship/hospitality revenue (up 81 percent); furthermore, THE PLAYERS has resumed its rightful place as the event of the year in Northeast Florida. It has also become a showcase for the area through increased recognition and promotion in domestic and international telecasts and other media, which is a vital tool in attracting businesses and investors to Florida’s Historic Coast.

Prior to his current roles, Rapp worked in the TOUR’s corporate marketing department for more than five years, focusing on title sponsor sales. He was responsible for more than $500 million in sponsorship agreements with companies that include Crowne Plaza, The Greenbrier, McGladrey, Northern Trust, Norwegian Cruise Lines, the Royal Bank of Canada, Boeing and Regions.

Prior to joining the PGA TOUR, Rapp held several senior executive positions in public relations and communications with the ATP World Tour, the governing body of men’s professional tennis, and Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations firm. His first job was working on Capitol Hill with the former assistant majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Wendall H. Ford.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Rapp has lived and worked in many cities throughout the United States and around the world including Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., London and Brussels, but he is proud to call Jacksonville his home since 2001. Rapp graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 where he rowed crew and studied international relations.