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Behind the Scenes: How Topgolf Has Evolved During the Pandemic

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Vistar has been actively analyzing consumer movement patterns to understand how COVID-19 has impacted different venue types. Entertainment venues saw a 6% increase in foot traffic comparing the first week in March to the first week in September. We recently connected with Erin Huard, Director of Digital Partnerships at Topgolf, to learn more about how they've adapted their facilities, how the community has responded to their changes, and hear tips for advertisers looking to buy programmatic DOOH in our “new normal” world.

What is Topgolf?

"Topgolf is a technology-enabled global sports and entertainment community connecting people in meaningful ways. With digital screens throughout their venues, Topgolf is a great venue for brands to expand their reach by getting in front of their target audience.

Emphasizing safety in every way, Topgolf launched their Commitment to Play Safely to reinforce health and safety for guests and associates upon reopening of venues in coordination with local and government health regulators."

COVID-19 has undeniably impacted many businesses. How has Topgolf adapted its facilities to ensure customers feel comfortable and protected during these times? 

"Alongside Topgolf's other 63 venues across the globe, rigorous measures have been put in place to reinforce Topgolf's Commitment to Play Safely. The following are just a few ways we have adapted our venues to ensure Guest and Associate safety:

  • All venues are equipped with bay dividers to establish barriers between groups and six-feet social distancing floor markers have been placed throughout
  • Bays, golf clubs and game screens are disinfected after each group and common areas are disinfected every hour by roving cleaning teams
  • Associates are required to wear masks at all times and must undergo temperature checks and health screenings prior to each shift

You can read all details of our Commitment to Play Safely on our website at topgolf.com/playsafely."

 

How has Topgolf’s foot traffic and customer set changed since the onset of the pandemic? 

"Like many businesses, our venues were closed temporarily, but all outdoor venues have now reopened. The communities we serve have responded positively to our commitment to play safely and we are proud to continue creating moments that matter for our guests."

 

As a global enterprise located in the United States, Australia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, what learnings can you share about navigating the pandemic across the globe? 

"Consumers are looking for safe ways to connect with one another. We continue to work extensively with local and state governments and health organizations to put in place additional safety measures ensuring our venues are safe for our guests and associates.

Additionally, we know our digital partners are navigating their own business impacts. We’ve placed an emphasis on communication, customization and testing to ensure that our digital systems are responsive to the changing demands of our partners’ messages."

 

In today’s “new normal” for advertisers, what do you wish more digital buyers knew more about buying OOH programmatically?

"Today’s environment provides an opportunity to explore and utilize all aspects of audience targeting tools, including third-party custom audiences, brand and audience alignment, time parting, brand safety studies and verified foot traffic.

Topgolf values its ability to facilitate the creation of memorable experiences for our guests. According to Magna and IPG labs, consumers are more receptive to advertising when they’re in a good mood and Topgolf provides advertisers with an opportunity to reach our guests while they are in a safe, fun and happy environment."

 

What benefits has Topgolf been able to leverage by working with Vistar during these challenging times?

"The Vistar platform has provided Topgolf with the necessary flexibility to adapt to changing business conditions, including: our venue reopening scheduling, changing business hours as needed, flighting safety messaging at a higher frequency, and the ability to create highly customized PMPs."

 

How do you see digital out-of-home evolving over the next year?

"I’m optimistic that we’ll see more programmatic solutions that will bring DOOH into the planner’s media mix and provide buyers with the flexibility that they’re familiar with on other channels (social, web and mobile).

I’d also anticipate growth in the utilization of data solutions to translate DOOH exposure to real world action, through place-based studies and online behavior analysis."

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