Callaway Golf Leverages LinkedIn to Engage Golfers with “Hit the Links”

April 29, 2013

The golf course is not only a place for long drives and birdie putts; business networking over 18 holes has always been an integral part of the sport. Callaway Golf Company recognized this connection and launched “Hit the Links,” an application that reinvents the organic relationship between professional networking and golf to facilitate dialogue and excitement for the sport.

Callaway’s campaign aims to disrupt the traditional influence models in golf in a modern way. LinkedIn is home to Callaway’s target demographic – professionals who are passionate about playing golf, and many LinkedIn users are talking about golf, creating golf groups and listing golf as an expertise to attract connections. A social and sharable promotion on LinkedIn was a natural choice, and “Hit the Links” was born.

Within the app, golfers designate an ultimate foursome using their LinkedIn network of professional contacts, and submit the group for a chance to win a golf “business” trip to Callaway’s HQ for a custom club fitting and a round of golf. The experience begins with users logging into the application via LinkedIn Connect, which then generates the recommended foursome through LinkedIn’s API. 

The three connection types created from the API within the foursome are:

• The Company Insider: Someone within the user’s company. The API seeks out a golfer first, but if one isn’t available, then the person with the most appropriate title is selected.

• The Business Contact: Someone in the user’s network and industry that the user has the most connections in common with.

• The Golfer: To find the golfer in the user’s network, the API references attributes such as interests and group membership. The person with the highest number of connections in common will be selected.

Participants can also "mulligan" out the recommended connections and handpick their foursome by browsing their professional network.

With “Hit the Links”, Callaway introduces a modern approach to the long-held tradition of networking on the golf course and transforms the way golfers interact with their brand through social networking. We applaud Callaway’s innovative thinking and commend them for being the first sporting goods brand to integrate with LinkedIn in this way.

If you’re ready to “Hit the Links,” visit today.