Golf Card Rakes in $200K for UpNorthLive.com

by Shawn Wilcox UpNorthLive

Background

UpNorthLive.com is the website affiliated with WPBN-TV, a part of Sinclair Broadcast Group. The DMA 119 television station is located in Traverse City, Michigan, and has been running a wildly successful deals program since 2011.

The Idea

Deal cards are themed collections of multiple offers – often from multiple merchants – that can be redeemed individually over a period of time by a single buyer. Each year, UpNorthLive.com runs an incredibly popular UpNorth Golf Card, which features highly discounted rounds of golf from a variety of area golf courses.

The Execution

UpNorthLive.com sells 3 separate regional golf cards as part of our UpNorth Golf Card promotion. In 2013, the North and Northwest Region cards included a round of golf at 17 different courses, while the Central Region card included rounds of golf at 18 courses. That’s a total of 52 golf courses involved in the promotion!

Below you can see the list of courses on the Northwest Region Golf Card:

UpNorthLive-Golf-Card-Northwest

The UpNorth Golf Card remains for sale for a full 11 months, launching in November and ending in September. The strategy of starting in November is to take full advantage of the spending season around the winter holidays. The deal then continues through the peak golf season in the spring and summer until it ends in the fall. Each regional golf card is sold for $99 (although toward the end of the season, the price is reduced to $49 to help keep sales active). Since the total value of all of the rounds of golf on the 3 cards in $1,987, that translates to a $99 (or $49) for $662 offer.

Given there are so many different golf courses featured, UpNorthLive.com does not offer a revenue split. Instead, we sign on the courses with a generous promotional package that gives them exposure throughout the run of the card. We include the following elements:

  • Promo donut spots (regular television ads with a space for different information to be filled in)
  • Landing page on UpNorthLive.com with links to their website
  • One hole from each course featured on the sportscast each night

You can see a screenshot from the TV spot below:

UpNorthLive-Golf-Card-TV-Spot

The Results

The Golf Card generated more than $200,000 in revenue for UpNorthLive.com, and the station made $250,000 in combined revenue from their deal card program – which also includes a Ski Card – during the year. Since we do not offer the golf courses listed on the card a revenue split, we get to keep all of the money.

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Shawn Wilcox UpNorthLive

Shawn is the former Vice President & Director of Sales for UpNorthLive, a Sinclair Broadcasting Group television station in Traverse City, Michigan. There he lead a team focused on explosive revenue growth through a commitment to integrated television, digital, and social media solutions. Shawn is currently the President and General Manager of Cordillera Communications in Billings, Montana.