MediaShare Consulting “Gets It Done” at Web.com Tour Championship
Mark Berman estimates he walked nearly 25 miles during the Web.com Tour Championship – and saw maybe six golf shots. On the last day, he savored the last few hundred steps by walking around the hospitality area that became his “home office” for the week. Berman’s company, MediaShare Consulting Group, had two clients with major sponsorship roles at the tournament, Pivot CPAs and Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices, both prominent professional service firms based at the beach.
Berman considers the Web.com Tour Championship to be one of the most compelling events in the entire golf landscape. It’s a bold statement, but from someone who has been inside and outside of the ropes since 1995, he feels qualified to embellish: “This tournament decides the future of golfers who have been chasing their dreams since they were kids. Only 25 players from this event graduate to the PGA TOUR. It’s amazing to see the emotion of the players and their families.”
“This event is what golf is all about: hard work, passion, dedication, resilience, stamina, creativity, team work and overcoming challenges.”
Each player is an entrepreneur with his own brand and support team – caddies, coaches, family. That’s the role MediaShare plays for its clients, who Berman states is in the “Get It Done” business. “Our clients are the brand and we’re the team behind them. The same goes for Pivot and Legacy Trust – they’re the team behind each of their clients.”
MediaShare views sponsorship as the only medium that ties together brand messaging, hospitality, product sampling, employee recognition and external media like public relations, social and advertising. Sponsorship creates a true connection between the sponsors and the guests attending the event. “Our goal is to create a memorable brand experience. When there isn’t a visible product, our goal to put a face with the company. We get to look a guest in the eye and say, ‘this is why we are a good fit for you’ and ‘we care about what you care about.’ It’s about a deeper relationship.”
Based in Ponte Vedra Beach (FL), MediaShare began as a boutique marketing strategy firm in 2009. “We can do all of the things a traditional agency does,” comments Berman. “We just start from a different place.” Some of his clients focus mainly on events and sponsorship. Others, like the Alhambra Theatre, use the full array of his firm’s services. While MediaShare works across the entire marketing landscape, he says the firm’s unique tactical strengths are sponsorship activation and re-branding and the firm’s strategic difference is its size. “We only work with four to five clients at a given time,” said Berman. “We don’t strive to be a mega-agency. We strive to be outstanding at what we do for a few folks at a time.”
His client Legacy Trust has sponsored the Web.com Tour Championship since it began as the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open, a stop on the (then) Nationwide Tour. As a Founding Partner, Legacy Trust was initially involved to support the community and raise money for charity. While that hasn’t changed, with MediaShare’s help they’ve found their marketing niche.
Today, Legacy Trust, who has been a MediaShare Client since 2012, focuses its attention celebrating the tournament’s 400+ volunteers. “While it is gratifying to see the logo on the course, we stay involved because of the alignment between the Legacy Trust brand with this group of givers,” said chairman and CEO Kristen McLauchlan. “This event doesn’t happen without its volunteers’ time and energy. By being here, Legacy Trust is able to personally thank them while creating a real relationship with them.”
Legacy Trust also receives presenting sponsorship of the North Florida Junior Golf Shootout, a 6-hole tournament that pairs top area junior players with a Web.com Tour player and a member of the media. There is a golf clinic prior to the shootout, and with 200-plus junior participants and their parents present, Legacy Trust thematically steps into its role as steward of their clients’ next generation.
Pivot CPAs, Jacksonville’s largest local CPA firm, rebranded with MediaShare in 2016. They then joined the Web.com Tour Championship to proliferate their new name in a big environment. This was a bold move for a company that had not previously spent significant resources on marketing. It made sense given the timing of the tournament, its reach into Atlantic Beach, where many of Pivot’s clients call home, and the tournament’s mission to give back to the community. MediaShare secured naming rights for Pivot with the “Pivot Pass,” one the main hospitality ticket offerings. On the lawn facing the 18th green is a giant three-dimensional Pivot logo. Pivot takes advantage of the unique hospitality the event provides.
“With this sponsorship, we are able to make a visible statement about our commitment to the community,” said Pivot CPAs Managing Partner Peter Reynolds. Reynolds cited that Pivot could have opted out after its first year as a sponsor, but found the value in the relationships strengthened by through the tournament.
Recently recognized with the St. John County Chamber award for community involvement and as one of Jacksonville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, Pivot used tournament week to extend both value propositions. Said Reynolds, “This firm has a unique personality. We care about our employees and their families, as well as our clients and our community. During this tournament, we get to spend time with each other in a fun environment away from the office.”
For Pivot staff, their families and clients, and Web.com officials, tournament week culminates in the annual Pivot Tee Party. The Deck at 18 hospitality tent is transformed within hours of the last putt falling and features live music, food and drinks.
With MediaShare in its corner, all Pivot has to do is show up and smile. “Year-round they are our outsourced marketing department, but come tournament week we get to see them shine,”
finished Reynolds. “Mark and his team take this tournament and our business very personally. We see him buzzing from tent to tent, handing out cookies to security staff, networking with the Golf Channel, posting on social media, working with tournament officials. I even saw him fix the tournament banner out on Seminole Road.”
Berman replied, “The most satisfying thing is when my clients’ customers and even their employees are surprised that we don’t actually work for the firm. I get similar joy at this event when I hear people say they thought our clients were the title sponsor.”
It was no surprise to either Reynolds or McLauchlan that Berman put more than 25 miles on his Fitbit during tournament week. That’s what it takes in the “Get it Done” business.
Mark D. Berman
MediaShare Consulting Group, Inc.