Marketing & Sponsorships

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Father’s Day Tie-Ins Mean Economic Boost for Sports

15 Jun, 2016

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Father’s Day is this weekend, meaning kids (and grown-up kids) everywhere have a chance to redeem themselves by steering away from ties and coffee mugs. Sports event organizers hope they’ll take the time to participate as athletes, or even to be fans in the stands.  

With Father’s Day spending projected to hit a record high $14.3 billion (hey, it’s still less than the Mother’s Day spend of $21.4 billion) and the per-consumer cost expected to be $125.92, it’s easy to see why planners hope they’ll get a piece of the action.

There are certainly plenty of tie-ins. Running in the USA lists 641 events (mostly 5Ks) with a Father’s Day tie-in.  The National Retail Federation surveyed consumers and found 22 percent of shoppers will opt for a “gift of experience” such as tickets to a sporting event. Two in five Millennials are planning to give an experience, significantly higher than older generations. (And hey, with Copa América Centenario in the country for the month, there have certainly been plenty of options for the bigger ticket gift.)

Greeting cards are the most commonly purchased gift (65 percent of survey respondents planned to get one), but other popular gifts included sporting goods.

Dads who would rather sit on the sidelines (or in the stands) will also have plenty of opportunities. Major League Baseball teams are marketing games as the perfect dad/kid bonding opportunity, and Minor League teams are doing the same. MLB, in fact is hosting a special Father’s Day promotion to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

If that’s a little too serious, there are plenty of activities guaranteed to get Dad out of his rut. In San Diego, the BBQ and Play Father’s Day event will allow families to engage in paintball battles. Orlando’s Father’s Day Triathlon Festival can help check off a bucket list (assuming a multisport event is in Dad’s bucket.)

TopGolf, a golf-themed entertainment and event venue, is already marketing heavily for the Father’s Day crowd. For example, TopGolf Wood Dale (located in Chicago) is offering consumers the ability to block two-and-a-half hour time slots for various levels of entertainment (hitting bay, mini-golf, food, club rentals, etc.)

One of the trending gifts for golf dads this year comes courtesy of the fine folks at Victorinox (you know, they of the Swiss Army Knife) and it’s the Swiss Army Knife Golf Tool, complete with a one-handed divot repair tool, a removable ball marker, a tee punch, and a groove cleaner. It has a lifetime warranty, and is designed to remain free of rust. (Want to order one? Go here.) Hey, it’s way better than a tie.

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