Black Mesa Golf Club    “Building a Reputation and Customer Base”                   Case Study            Prepared by Hami...
Background    > Black Mesa Golf Club is an 18-hole daily fee golf course located 25 minutes north of    Santa Fe, New Mexi...
Challenges     > THG conducted extensive research of Black Mesa’s customer       database, Santa Fe and New Mexico tourism...
Strategies     1.    Develop marketing plans for out-of-area and local customers          1.    Out-of-Area               ...
Tactics     1. Capitalize on Santa Fe as a desirable travel destination and make it a “new” golf        destination       ...
Tactics     2.    Branding           –       Develop unique and memorable brand identity to tie the golf course to the lan...
Tactics     3.    Generate greater awareness among media and course raters to continue           stream of positive review...
Tactics     5.    Develop methods to keep customers engaged and informed          – Develop a full year marketing communic...
Results – Media Coverage                            LINKS Magazine Names Black Mesa Golf Club                       “One o...
Results - Media Coverage      > Black Mesa has appeared in the three major top 100 public golf course rankings since it op...
Results - Media Coverage      > “Respecting Mother Earth: It is arid Southwest architecture of the highest order.”        ...
Results     > Media Familiarization Trips      >   Arizona ,The State of Golf         >   Hookedongolf.com      >   Arizon...
Results > Brand Identity
Results > Outdoor Advertising
Results > Direct Mail    – Sent to more than 30,000 who like to travel and play golf who reside in      three key markets ...
Results> LINKS Magazine Promotion  – Ran a cross promotion with LINKS Magazine to give potential    customers a free subsc...
Results > More than 6,600 opt-in subscribers to the Monthly and Quarterly   newsletters > More than 2,500 fans of Black Me...
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Black Mesa Golf Club case study 2012

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PR case study of brand development and customer building for Black Mesa Golf Club in La Mesilla, NM

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Black Mesa Golf Club case study 2012

  1. 1. Black Mesa Golf Club “Building a Reputation and Customer Base” Case Study Prepared by Hamilton Public Relations1
  2. 2. Background > Black Mesa Golf Club is an 18-hole daily fee golf course located 25 minutes north of Santa Fe, New Mexico on the Santa Clara Pueblo > The course is operated by Edward Peck in a co-ownership agreement with the Santa Clara Development Corp., the business entity of the Pueblo > Black Mesa opened in the Spring of 2003 to great reviews including “Best New Affordable Public Course” by Golf Digest and one of the “2003 Top Ten (New Courses) You Can Play” by GOLF Magazine > However, once the initial hype died down Black Mesa realized they needed a strategic marketing communications plan going forward > In May, 2009, Black Mesa announced plans to develop a second course as well as a small on-site hotel, casino and spa2
  3. 3. Challenges > THG conducted extensive research of Black Mesa’s customer database, Santa Fe and New Mexico tourism data, media coverage and surveys of current staff and customers revealed the following challenges: – While golf can be played year round at Black Mesa, the “high” season runs from May through September – The majority of rounds were played on weekends rather than weekdays – Black Mesa charged much higher greens fees than other courses in the immediate area – There were a limited number of golfers in the Greater Santa Fe area – New Mexico and Santa Fe were not known as “golf” destinations – For out-of-state golfers, traveling to Black Mesa required flying into Albuquerque and then driving 90 minutes past several competing courses – Black Mesa did not have a hotel on-site nor a quality hotel in the immediate area to make it a destination3
  4. 4. Strategies 1. Develop marketing plans for out-of-area and local customers 1. Out-of-Area 1. Capitalize on Santa Fe as a desirable vacation destination 2. Market New Mexico and Santa Fe as a “new” golf destination 3. Use low greens fees, moderate temperatures, New Mexico culture, highly regarded courses and ease of getting tee times as selling points 2. Local 1. Develop a program for most loyal/frequent customers 2. Develop low cost incentives to attract new or value-driven customers 2. Generate greater awareness among media and course raters to continue stream of positive reviews 3. Develop ongoing methods to keep customers engaged and informed 4. Seek and develop partnerships with local entities to increase marketing opportunities4
  5. 5. Tactics 1. Capitalize on Santa Fe as a desirable travel destination and make it a “new” golf destination – Developed relationships with the state and local tourism boards to co- promote New Mexico as the “new” golf destination – Also developed relationship with partner Santa Clara Pueblo’s casino to build revenue through gaming customers – Also worked with local hotels to develop “stay and play” packages that could be advertised to prospective visitors – Segmented audience into four classes • Local • Drive markets • Short flight • Long Flight – Key messages include the course’s low greens fees, moderate temperatures, unique New Mexico culture, highly regarded courses and ease of getting tee times5
  6. 6. Tactics 2. Branding – Develop unique and memorable brand identity to tie the golf course to the land and the area’s history and culture 3. Develop a promotional plan to generate additional revenue in the low season and weekdays when business is slow – Developed Black Mesa Association and Players Club to reward most frequent local players • Benefits included: – Tiered discounts on greens fees – Free GHIN fee to track member’s handicap – Free round on member’s Birthday – Twilight fee starts 1 hour early – Discounts on Twilight and Weekday Nine Hole greens fees – Discounts on pro shop purchases – Access to special tournaments and promotions – Developed a full year calendar of promotions to drive weekday play • Ranged from discounts to free food and drinks in the course grill • Were tied to holidays both legitimate and made up, days of the week, jobs, style of dress, etc. • Customers required to submit a coupon or use a code word in order to receive discount6
  7. 7. Tactics 3. Generate greater awareness among media and course raters to continue stream of positive reviews – Started semi-annual media familiarization trips to bring media and course raters to Black Mesa and New Mexico to experience the culture and golf course first-hand – Writers represented national or key market publications 4. Greens fees were higher than other local courses. – Decided to maintain fees to differentiate brand experience from local competition – Developed Black Mesa Association to reward our most loyal customers • Most local “frequent players”7
  8. 8. Tactics 5. Develop methods to keep customers engaged and informed – Develop a full year marketing communications plan • Includes promotions and public relations initiatives – Newsletters • Monthly and Quarterly – For long lead planning and features about Black Mesa – Social Media • Short term communications for highly engaged customers – Public Relations – Advertising • Airport panoramas • LINKS Magazine promotion • Direct Mail8
  9. 9. Results – Media Coverage LINKS Magazine Names Black Mesa Golf Club “One of the (Ten) Most Spectacular Courses in the World” One of four located in the United States and one of two not located on a body of water9
  10. 10. Results - Media Coverage > Black Mesa has appeared in the three major top 100 public golf course rankings since it opened. – Top 100 You Can Play No. 40 (2010) - GOLF Magazine – America’s Greatest Public Courses No. 59 (2009) - Golf Digest – Top 100 Modern (post-1960) Courses No. 87 (2010) - Golfweek > Four and a Half Stars (out of five) - T + L Golf > Editors’ Pick: Top U.S. Golf Courses - Celebrated Living > “One the ten most spectacular courses in the world” – LINKS Magazine, Winter, 2011 > "Top 10 New Courses You Can Play – One of the finest public-access courses that opened their gates in 2003" Golf Magazine > “Black Mesa ranks among the very best minimalist layouts in America. Its on a par with Tom Doaks Pacific Dunes…” Golf Digest > “One of the premier American layouts built in the past 25 or 30 years.” Golf Today Magazine > “Calling it great only scratches the surface of what this marvelous collection of 18 holes is all about. You’ll love it and will want to return for more.” Southern California Golf News > "a true femme fatale: gorgeous, tough, enigmatic." T&L Golf10
  11. 11. Results - Media Coverage > “Respecting Mother Earth: It is arid Southwest architecture of the highest order.” Golf Digest > “Black Mesa is one of the more spectacular courses anywhere, with holes climbing, diving and weaving through massive sandstone formations. With no sign of civilization other than the clubhouse, Black Mesa can look like the moon, but the golf is heavenly.” LINKS Magazine > "Classic architectural features abound with the twist being the stunning New Mexico setting" Golf Club Atlas > "Astounding high desert layout thrilling, humbling" TravelGolf.com > “A walk through Black Mesa is simply awesome. Tucked within canyons and valley of the Santa Clara Pueblo, Black Mesa may be the best course filmed within the GTW series in 2003.” Golfingtheworld.net11
  12. 12. Results > Media Familiarization Trips > Arizona ,The State of Golf > Hookedongolf.com > Arizona Fairways > Jersey Golfer > Celebrated Living > Midwest Golfer TV > Colorado Golfer > Michigan Golf Live! > Cybergolf.com > New York Post > Desert Golf > NJ Golf News > Fairways > Ocean State Golf > Florida Golf Central Magazine > Redanman.com > Golf Chicago! Magazine & TV Show > Southern Arizona Tee Times > Golf Journeys > Southern California Golf > GOLF Magazine > Southland Golf Magazine > Golf Minnesota > Travel and Leisure Golf > GolfObserver.com > Travellinggolfer.com > Golf Today > The Back 9 Radio Show > Golf Vacations > The Elevated Tee Radio Show > GolfChannel.com > The Met Golfer > Golfing Magazine > WorldGolf.com "Golf for Beginners" > Hemispheres > West Coast Golfer Magazine12
  13. 13. Results > Brand Identity
  14. 14. Results > Outdoor Advertising
  15. 15. Results > Direct Mail – Sent to more than 30,000 who like to travel and play golf who reside in three key markets • Denver, CO • Dallas, TX • Houston, TX – Package included a brochure and a letter with a sweepstakes promotion – Initial effort yielded nearly 900 responses 15
  16. 16. Results> LINKS Magazine Promotion – Ran a cross promotion with LINKS Magazine to give potential customers a free subscription to the magazine
  17. 17. Results > More than 6,600 opt-in subscribers to the Monthly and Quarterly newsletters > More than 2,500 fans of Black Mesa’s Facebook account (launched 6/5/09) > More than 225 members of Black Mesa Association frequent play program – comparable in size to mid-size private country clubs > Yearly rounds played have increased year to year – Increased 20% in 2009 alone and 5% in 2010-11 despite the economy 17

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