PGA Golf: 3M Championship to Bring Social Media onto the Course

Ever wanted to check in with Arnie on the 5th hole? Now you can.

The PGA is in town this weekend, and in a change from standard practice, is encouraging cell phone use on the course.

It isn't often that Minnesotans get a chance to attend PGA events on home turf. With the 3M Championship in town in Blaine this weekend, not only can you watch PGA golf, but you can also take part in a first of its kind social media event right on the course. Cell phones on the course you say? Yep. Cell phones on the course. Bring it on.

In partnership with the 3M Championship, the Champions Tour and the PGA, Gage Marketing Group (located in Plymouth, Minnesota) announced the exclusive 3M Championship mobile app. The 3M Championship is the first PGA-sanctioned event where fans will be encouraged and incented (in other words, encouraged with prizes) to participate socially via a mobile device.

The app is the first of its generation when it comes to fan involvement with social interaction, incenting the viewing public to share their experience via the "second screen" through check-ins, photo uploads, fan commentary both within the app and shared with Facebook and Twitter as well as sponsor engagement by unlocking badges, rewards and offers at the tournament. The app itself is "ground breaking for sports and sets the bar at a high level in the golf world." The app can be downloaded at www.3mchampionship.com.

In addition, Dell has built a mobile social media listening command center at the 3M Championship to provide real-time monitoring and reporting of social media conversations that occur during the event.

This is the first time a PGA event has had this type of a social media integration. By allowing the use of mobile devices on the course during the tournament and by conducting listening reports on the related social media conversations, "Gage and the PGA, with Dell's support, are showcasing how social can provide an integrated conversation loop for all involved or interested in the event."

From Gage:

Gage is leveraging Dell's thought leadership and practical experience. As a social pioneer, Dell continues to help its customers to innovate through the use of social media, whether it is in education, humanitarian relief or sporting events and entertainment. Dell is also providing insights and analytics around the championship, fans, players and sponsors. This approach--integrating social within a live sporting event--sets a precedent for providing an "inside the ropes" experience.

So What? What does this mean for you, the golf going public?

This is the first time a PGA event has not only allowed you to bring your phones on the course, but asked you to actively use them. If you are a golf fan, and a user of social media, this is exciting stuff. We've tried the app, and it works really well, is user friendly, and simple to use right out of the box.

If you are headed to the event in Blaine, why not download the app and have some fun, while quite possibly winning some prizes?

Want to know what you are getting into? Here are some screenshots provided by Gage:

Golf_1_medium

1. The home screen for the app. Very clean, simple design, giving access to everything you need right on one screen.

Golf_2_medium

2. When checking in, you get to select which player it is you are following on the course, and share pictures, comments, etc. Who wouldn't want to check in with Arnold Palmer?

Golf_3_medium

3. Finally, choose the hole you are on, and you have your check in. So you get to check in one hole 5 with Arnie. How many of your friends get to post that this weekend?

A handful of SB Nation writers will be on the course this weekend. If you see us, stop by and say hi. We'll check in with Arnie together!

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