The First Tee of Denver / Brand Strategy / Integrated Rebranding Campaign

Research, brand strategy, brand articulation, positioning, integrated marketing campaign, and social media strategy

What do you do when you are part of a national organization that hangs its hat on attracting kids to golf but your chapter offers so much more? That was the question The First Tee of Denver was wrestling with when the organization’s executive director, operations manager and board president approached us for help. Their gut was telling them their marketing was off, and a different approach was desperately needed if they had any chance of getting the word out about the organization’s programs.

Being a local nonprofit, The First Tee of Denver also had its own set of challenges, the biggest being that the organization never really had the luxury of extensive marketing. They turned to us for a cost-effective yet impactful way to reach potential kids, their parents and potential funding partners. What they really needed was an image-building campaign that had to work really hard to build awareness. We gladly accepted the challenge.

After spending a lot of time with the organization’s leaders, board members, key staffers, kids currently in the program, kids who went through the program and are now in college and parents of kids in the program, we were able to get a true perspective of their experiences. It became very clear that the marketing was not telling the true First Tee of Denver story. It wasn’t painting a complete picture of their programs or communicating the breadth of their work. The First Tee of Denver has worked with more than 10,000 kids providing golf skills, after-school reading programs, mentoring, paid summer jobs, job interview prep, college interview prep, and college scholarships, but this was news to most of the people we talked with.

Our solution was to develop a visually charged, conceptual campaign that placed actual First Tee of Denver kids in a variety of everyday situations with one consistent element, they all had their golf bag no matter their task or situation. The message was clear: First Tee of Denver kids take the lessons they learn on the course with them everywhere they go, preparing them for success in golf and in life. We also crafted language that helps The First Tee of Denver clearly express what they do, who they work with and the benefits the kids who participate in their programs get.

The execution is extremely versatile, which allows us to stretch the client’s limited budget. Being strategic with the media buy, images can be rotated among all campaign elements, which include transit boards, print ads in parent/lifestyle magazines, radio, direct mail, in-school posters and a leave-behind brochure. This allows us to keep the campaign fresh throughout the year by keeping the target market from seeing the same image ad nauseum.
This effectively extends the organization’s reach and tells a more complete story about the organization.

RESULTS
While the campaign is still being rolled out, the initial feedback from all the audiences in their target base is that they are loving it. Being more visible also hasn’t hurt in getting the word out about the organization and all the great ways it helps kids. The staff have heard parents and supporters say that they had no idea The First Tee of Denver offered so many different programs. Even with early limited exposure, the new effort is helping The First Tee of Denver open new doors, enroll more kids and secure more financial support for their organization.