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New PGA Tour Mobile Policy Great for Digital Growth

May 10, 2011 | By | No Comments

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At the end of the 2010 season and beginning of this season, the PGA Tour conducted tests on a new cellular phone policy to test the potential impact of mobile devices.  As you may have guessed, it worked really well and the fans loved it.  The Tour quickly realized how popular this program could become with all parties involved with their business (players, fans, sponsors, and the media).

The Honda Classic, which took place Feb. 28-March 6 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, was the first tournament where the mobile device policy was fully implemented.

“We concluded after the five test tournaments that allowing mobile devices on-site at TOUR events was a tremendous fan enhancement, allowing them to stay connected to business and family. We anticipate our fans will be respectful of the policy and as a result the integrity of our competitions will not be compromised.” – Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR Chief of Operations

The revised cellular policy says:

  • Spectators are allowed to carry cell phones around the tournament grounds with the volume setting set to Silent or Vibrate.
  • Calls can be made or received in designated areas like concession stands and hospitality areas throughout the golf course.
  • Fans can send or receive text messages and check smartphone data anywhere on the grounds as long as it’s away from play and doesn’t disrupt the players.
  • Video is prohibited all week and cell phone cameras cannot be used during tournament play (normally Thursday – Sunday).

The mobile policy right now is implemented on a tournament-to-tournament basis.  This week’s tournament, The Players Championship (which happens to be across the street from Social Strategy1’s Florida office), will be following the PGA Tour’s new mobile policy.

I am very interested to talk to people at tonight’s 2011 Players Championship Meet-Up about this program and hear the Tour’s thoughts first hand.  The new strategy will surely improve the PGA Tour’s footprint on the web and largely increase fan interest/ involvement.  Transparency continues to improve businesses all over the world; even the most popular forms of entertainment, like professional sports, have heaps to gain from being social.

What do you think about cell phones on the golf course?  How will this policy impact mobile device use at other sporting events (like Tennis tournaments)?

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