When anyone is up for an award, the common sentiment is “it's just an honor being nominated.”
Representatives of the John Deere Classic were not only honored to be nominated for three prestigious PGA Tour Awards this year, but traveled home from Tour headquarters in Florida on Thursday with two more awards to add to their growing collection.
The 2019 John Deere Classic earned awards for “Best Title Sponsor Integration” for the second consecutive year, as well as for “Most Engaged Community” for a record seventh time, and the fourth time in the last five years.
The annual PGA Tour tournament contested at TPC Deere Run was also a runner-up for “Tournament of the Year,” an honor it won in 2016. The Waste Management Phoenix Open won that award for the fifth time in the last six years.
“To win two of the three we were finalists for is awesome,” said Clair Peterson, long-time JDC tournament director. “There might have only been one other tournament that got more than one award.
“It's a testament to me of John Deere's initiatives over the last two years – we have won that (Best Title Sponsor Integration) award two years in a row – to make their brand presence one that is compelling, fun and entertaining and surprising.”
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The newest addition to the Deere brand presence that created a lot of attention at the 2019 JDC was having an oversized Ping putter head on the end of a mini excavator that fans could operate and attempt to make a putt with an oversized golf ball into a makeshift golf hole.
“That was a great follow-up story to the larger excavator with a driver head on it the year before,” said Peterson of the creations brought to life by Edwards Creative of Milan.
Peterson noted the excitement from Deere & Co. representatives of the recognition the tournament once again garnered. Many of the ideas that bring tournament week to life are collaborations of both the tournament staff and Deere officials, proving to be a viable team effort done “to bring their brand to tournament week.”
According to tournament officials, The “Best Title Sponsor Integration” award recognizes the event which best utilizes its title sponsor throughout the year. Factors include unique on-site brand activation, advertising, social media and charitable tie-ins to the title sponsor.
The “Most Engaged Community” award goes to the tournament which stands out for attendance, volunteer support, year-round community involvement and new engagement programs to help weave the community into the fabric of the tournament and its charity partners.
Part of that award also includes the JDC once again leading the PGA Tour in charitable contributions per capita and being among the top tournaments in total charitable contributions. Through its Birdies for Charity program, the JDC donated $13.82 million to a record 542 charities this year. that brings its total contributions to over $121 million – 99% of that since John Deere assumed title sponsorship in 1998.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour, I am thrilled to congratulate the John Deere Classic on being recognized with two “Best Of” awards for the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season,” said Andy Pazder, Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer. “The tournament committee and title sponsor, John Deere, should be extremely proud of their collaborative efforts as they continue to be a model for engaging with their community.”
The 2020 John Deere Classic is scheduled for July 6-12 at TPC Deere Run with Dylan Frittelli expected to defend his title. It will be the 50th Tour event in the Quad-Cities with special celebrations in the works for the week.