ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Incredible Technologies kicked off the $100,000 Golden Tee LIVE Regional Championships, featuring exclusive play on the company’s latest golf video game. The tournament, which went online nationwide on June 1, is designed for every player, LIVE game and location, IT said.
Scott Morrison, IT’s vice-president of marketing, developed a new four-region, three-tiered structure that incorporates every Golden Tee LIVE game across the U.S. in the Midwestern, Western, Southern or Eastern region. A three-tiered structure of contest action will be offered in each region, which is designed to appeal to casual players and to drive repeat play.
The first tier of each Regional Championship consists of two months of online qualifying that requires players to play 50 games on LIVE as they compete for the title of local Pub Champ and a $1,000 prize. Qualifiers will play all 50-plus online qualifying games on one Golden Tee LIVE machine in their favorite location. Each machine will have a leaderboard that lists the players with the best 50-game scoring average on that machine. The top players on each machine will represent their bar as Pub Champs at the local finals and will compete in an exclusive closest-to-the-pin contest for the final $1,000 prize.
The second tier of the Regional Championships brings together the top 16 qualifiers in each region, including players who did not win the Pub Champ title, to a single, physical location within each region for a live tournament event. There, they will compete for a spot on Team USA. Once the Team USA members are selected the tournament’s third tier will get underway with a live final – again, one will be held in each region – with a $25,000 in cash and prizes per region, amounting to a total of more than $100,000 in prizes.
IT’s marketing director, Gary Colabuono, explained that the three formats were developed to benefit both players and operators. “The three levels give players a reason to continue playing Golden Tee LIVE after their initial 50-game qualification,” he said. “They also provide a promotional platform for operators to separate themselves from their competition. The Team USA shootout will appeal to nationally ranked players in each region, and the Pub Champ contest puts competition on a local level. It’s the perfect opportunity for operators to partner with locations to sponsor a Pub Champ at the finals.”
IT said it is spending more to promote the Regional Championships compared with previous single events. A text message at the start of every game alerts the players that the tournament is taking place. Over 25,000 posters were sent to Golden Tee LIVE operators along with “Promo Pocket” inserts and an optional AdWiz CD for every game. A push to mainstream television, magazines and newspapers is being coordinated through IT’s press agency and goldentee.com will serve as the tournament’s online hub. Additionally, IT is sending emails, newsletters and postcards to thousands of players and locations. “Everybody will know about the Golden Tee LIVE Regional Championships,” Colabuono said.
IT executives reported that advance word about the Regional Championships had created excitement among players nationwide. The company quoted Casey Brock, a prominent player and proprietor of the top Golden Tee fan site, underdogsports.net, as saying the tournament would boost enthusiasm among the player base on all levels.
“Just check out the message boards – it’s all we’re talking about,” he said, adding that players like the possibility that many competitors can win, not just a now-familiar top tier of national players of superlative abilities.