CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA | As the Wells Fargo Championship unfolds this week at Quail Hollow Club with a star-heavy field chasing their piece of the $20 million designated-event purse, Tammy Levine, chief brand officer for the bank, will be focused on more than what is happening between the ropes.
The tournament itself is the centerpiece with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and others chasing the trophy, but that is only part of Wells Fargo’s broader immersion into the week, the community and beyond.
While being one of only two major banks to title sponsor a PGA Tour event (RBC is the other), Wells Fargo gets more out of the tournament than the substantial television time and advertising opportunities.
It is a week to entertain clients, to promote diversity, to assist small businesses and to be more than the name on an ATM. Approximately one-third of the estimated 200,000 fans attending the event are Wells Fargo customers, Levine said, and the bank provides many of the tournament volunteers.
“It’s not only an opportunity to deliver amazing experiences for customers and fans, but it also is an opportunity to support community youth and diversity in golf,” Levine said.
Title sponsor of the event since 2003, Wells Fargo has worked with Champions of Education, the event’s 501(c)(3) organization, to donate more than $27 million, including substantial contributions to the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte and the local First Tee program.
Back at Quail Hollow after a rainy visit to the Washington, D.C., area last year to accommodate the Presidents Cup in Charlotte, Wells Fargo is being proactive in its sponsorship (which runs through the 2024 event).
There are the usual activities – pro-am spots for key clients, dedicated hospitality venues for some customers and private evening events where guests can mingle with selected tour players. It’s a place to say thank you to key constituents while also reinforcing the bank and its brand.
Beyond the signage on site, which isn’t as aggressive as at many other PGA Tour events, fans will see Wells Fargo’s impact almost immediately upon entering Quail Hollow.
“As a designated event, we really wanted to make sure our clients are aware of the change that the tour has made, and we are supportive of it, so we are elevating the entire customer experience end to end.” – Tammy Levine
Near the main spectator entrance and adjacent to the tournament merchandise shop, the Wells Fargo Small Business Market has been constructed, providing nine local businesses a place to introduce themselves in what feels like a small, well, marketplace.
Fans can grab a coffee from a popular local coffeehouse, get fresh tacos or check out the latest offerings from a North Carolina-based golf equipment company, all while being steps away from the practice range and its bleacher seating.
The program debuted with five Washington-based small businesses last year and will nearly double at Quail Hollow, all while coinciding with national small business week in the United States.
“We have invited nine small businesses we work with across the Carolinas to showcase their products, and the small business market is another way to continue to support small businesses,” Levine said, noting the bank has more than $420 million in its “Open For Business” fund for small companies.
As one of the new designated events this year, Wells Fargo officials worked with the PGA Tour to more than double the tournament purse, and there are ongoing discussions about the event having designated status again in 2024.
With one of the strongest fields in the history of the event, Wells Fargo sees this week as a moment to elevate its presence at Quail Hollow – and not just for the approximately 1,300 daily bank guests on site each tournament day.
“As a designated event, we really wanted to make sure our clients are aware of the change that the tour has made, and we are supportive of it, so we are elevating the entire customer experience end to end,” Levine said.
Wells Fargo is a national trustee for the First Tee program, and as part of that involvement, three First Tee graduates who are now enrolled at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) got to play with the golfer of their choice in the Wednesday pro-am. The students will also get one-on-one mentorship with a bank executive familiar with their interests.
There was a clinic for 200 First Tee participants with selected tour players on Wednesday, as well.
Additionally, sponsor exemptions were granted to Marcus Byrd and Quinn Riley, First Tee alums who are playing on the Advocates Professional Golf Association tour. They will be making their first PGA Tour starts in the Wells Fargo Championship.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to create opportunities for young and diverse golfers,” Levine said.
And it’s an opportunity for Wells Fargo to show that it is doing much more than just putting its name on a golf tournament.
© 2023 Global Golf Post LLC
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Tell us how we can improve this post?