The Open enlists Man City and Everton to boost ticket sales

Only a few weeks ago, Everton sealed a deal with The Open Championship ahead of the golf tournament’s return to Royal Birkdale in Merseyside this summer. The deal will see the club’s players create content with some of the European Tour’s top players in an attempt to drum up some excitement about the golfing major championship, taking place not too far from the club’s Liverpool base.

And now The Open has taken that strategy even further, partnering with another North West football club, Manchester City.

The deal with the Manchester club will be along similar lines. Like Everton fans, City fans will receive a cap with The Open’s branding if they book tickets using the Manchester City promotional code when booking, and the club will create exclusive digital content in the build-up to the event, posting on their social media channels.

The deal has also seen the Claret Jug make its way to City’s club shop, and will be on display during the club’s hospitality golfing days.

As golf seeks to connect with fans who are turning away from the course towards other sports, using football clubs almost as influencers is a clever way of reaching an audience who might be interested in golf but who perhaps wouldn’t actively seek it out. It’s also likely that a club’s following on social media will have a high concentration of millennials, an audience golf is keen to reach.

The targeting of North West football clubs in Manchester City and Everton is an attempt to keep a local feel to a tournament held in the area, but it’s also interesting that they’ve partnered with City and Everton rather than Liverpool and Manchester United – although they still might, of course.

Both blue sides of the two northern cities are traditionally smaller siblings, certainly in terms of trophies won, than their cross-town rivals. And whereas United and Liverpool might have a larger worldwide following, Everton and City present The Open with a chance to reach two clubs with big followings whose support base is much more local.

It makes sense to try to reach fans in the area as they’re the ones who are most likely to come to the event, and to get content from other big organisations with large and engaged followings on social media is also a big coup. But will we see a trend come out of this? It seems like a new and fairly innovative type of partnership that crosses different sports, and there is surely a crossover of people who enjoy both football and golf. But will football fans respond to their club’s attempts to play the influencer in such a direct way?

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 176 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and a regular contributor to Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan91

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