Thursday, July 14, 2016

NBC Sports Group Activates Partnership with Whistle Sports

Social Media-Driven Video Content Features Golfers Hitting Shots with Challenges Similar to Those Faced at The Open

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – In conjunction with its inaugural year as the exclusive U.S. television rights holder of The Open (July 14-17), NBC Sports Group worked in collaboration with Whistle Sports, a digital sports media company with a network of more than 400 sports social influencers creating content across social, digital and TV platforms. Together they produced a creative promotional campaign that showcases the severe playing conditions synonymous with golf’s original major championship in an amusing, unconventional way.The content activation, which was filmed in New York City, showcases a customized indoor golf simulator featuring Royal Troon – the host course venue for the 2016 Open – with surprise elements coming into play on every swing. With the help of European golf instructors Peter Finch and Rick Shiels, unsuspecting golfers are invited to test their merits as they encounter iconic conditions that mirror those at The Open.

Real fescue-like long grass is used to simulate the challenges players will face at The Open when they miss the fairway, and a miniature bunker with real sand (and rake) represents the tricky bunkering associated with links golf. Finch and Shiels make things even more difficult for those in the simulator by blowing leaf blowers and squirting water in the faces to simulate The Open’s iconic windy and rainy conditions in a fun, unorthodox way.

The result is a comical four-minute video being disseminated via multiple social platforms, including Whistle Sports’ Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel, along with Golf Channel’s social media platforms. In addition to the full clip, several “shorts” are being shared via Facebook and Instagram outlining specific elements, including how to tackle shots from the fescue, when battle the rain, and conquer the wind. Other “shorts” include advice from Finch and Shiels on how to be most successful when playing Royal Troon along with a behind-the-scenes clip from the shoot.

Reaction to the campaign has gained the attention of many in the few days since initially launching the video on Friday. To-date, the video has already eclipsed more than 1 million views and reached more than 2 million users. The 3,500-plus social interactions in response to Golf Channel’s social channels having shared the video are more than three times Golf Channel’s average.

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