Sanderson Farms Championship
In 2013, Mississippi was in jeopardy of losing a PGA TOUR event that it has hosted since 1968, due to a lack of title sponsor. Sanderson Farms, the nation’s third largest poultry producer, stepped forward, giving the event a one-year trial sponsorship. Following the success of that year, a three-year commitment was made by Sanderson Farms, followed by a 10-year extension, announced in 2015.
In 2013, Sanderson Farms selected The Cirlot Agency to brand and promote the Sanderson Farms Championship, Mississippi’s only major professional sporting event. Since that time, the Agency has worked closely with Sanderson Farms, the Championship team, and the PGA TOUR staff to assist with operational and event planning. Among the specific tasks are the creation and management of all social media platforms, the coordination of all public relations, messaging, content development, charity integration and media relations efforts, as well as the design and production of local and national advertisements. Additionally, The Cirlot Agency works closely with the staff year-round to assist with planning for tournament week event support, which includes Women’s Day, PGA TOUR Wives’ Association Paint Party, Sunday Church Service, Media Center Support, On-site Media Management, etc.
Through public relations efforts, the Agency garnered nearly $16 million through earned media coverage surrounding the 2016 Championship. The Agency collaborated with local media throughout the year, developing relationships with each of the outlets covering the Championship. Through these relationships, the Championship received $114,300 in added value in the form of non-paid advertising ads, social media mentions and ticket giveaways, broadcast mentions/interviews, etc. By developing multiple strategic social media campaigns, the Agency grew the Sanderson Farms Championship’s social media engagement by 205 percent, totaling the social audience to 18,507.
Unlike other tournaments, 100% of the proceeds from the Sanderson Farms Championship goes to much-deserving Mississippi charities. The main benefactor is Friends of Children’s Hospital and the children who are treated at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, part of Children’s of Mississippi. A portion of the proceeds are donated to approximately 65 additional charities around the state. To date (since Sanderson Farms became Title Sponsor in 2013), nearly $4 million has been donated to Friends of Children’s Hospital to help children across the state of Mississippi. Since 1968, over $10 million has been contributed to charitable organizations in Mississippi.