Actually, this Jon Show-Sports Business Journal interview with AmEx's Rick Lehrfield contains all sorts of new verbs, adverbs and nouns to add to the list.
Rich Lehrfeld is overseeing American Express first year under a new corporate partnership structure marketed by the USGA. He spoke recently with correspondent Jon Show about the allure of this week¹s U.S. Open. How much of your activation efforts are you pulling from your sponsorship of the U.S. Open of tennis?
Oh nice, activation efforts. And that was just setup!
LEHRFELD: We¹ve taken a good amount, between the fan and cardholder card-member experiences and the welcome pavilion. It¹s not a true takeoff but a lot of the engagement for the U.S. Open tennis we tried to use [for] the golf event.
Hmmm, anyone care to tell me what a true takeoff is vs. an engagement?
What attracted you to the USGA?
LEHRFELD: Who they are and what they represent in the game of golf. It¹s an organization that runs 365 days a year with multiple events. There are a lot of different platforms that we can build on with them. The USGA really wants to keep the event as special and pure as possible. We¹ve worked with them on where we should and shouldn¹t be branding, how we can deliver benefits and access.
Platforms and branding. Yawn. And I don't know about the pure part if they are taking on sponsors.
How do you measure success in year one?
LEHRFELD: First is trying to develop impactful programs and working to develop a comfort level with the USGA. That¹s hard to measure. Engaging consumers and building programs and experiences through content or on-site. Delivering real value through a brand perspective, which we determine through research and response. And then, the business perspective.
Impactful value through a brand perspective. Amen brother.
Any plans to expand your interests in golf?
LEHRFELD: We¹re definitely looking to grow our efforts in golf. Maybe in event sponsorship, maybe not.
Wow, stop teasing us like this!
Should anything be done to improve the World Golf Championships events, one of which is title-sponsored by AmEx?
LEHRFELD: They¹ve done a good job with the players. I think they probably have to do a little more rotation and make it more global, which is tough with the players¹ schedules. They¹re faced with a big challenge in trying to make it a global property.
Wow, that's a fancy way of saying the WGC's aren't working!