Where Dreams come true
When I’m asked to define the Korn Ferry Tour content strategy, my first instinct is to say that the strategy is dictated by the storylines.
Each year brings a fresh crop of players – rookie newcomers, and veteran returners – to get to know, learn their stories, and find ways to increase their profile and connection with fans. Although we live in an ever-evolving era of social media (TikTok being the latest Korn Ferry Tour content foray), engagement numbers have proven over the years that the highest-resonance content is rooted in traditional storytelling. Learning the who-what-where-when-why-how, and conveying it to the audience through a variety of methods and platforms, builds a fan base for golf’s next generation of stars.
(As a newspaper journalism major, this always warms the heart.)
I’ll then remark that the ideal flow of content is to blend reporting with ‘zaniness.’
At the heart of the Korn Ferry Tour is its foundation as a ‘traveling circus.’ Players, caddies and staff traverse across America, setting up shop in cities of various sizes for a week at a time, competing in chase of a TOUR card while also (in non-pandemic times) entertaining fans.
Golf is at the heart of the story, but it’s not the whole story. Thinking all golf, all the time, can lead to burnout. So when an opportunity arises to showcase players out of the traditional golf element, we’re all-in.
This fall, the ‘Dreams Challenge’ provided fodder for Korn Ferry Tour content to display its ‘zany’ ethos. (Backstory: a man named Nathan Apodaca posted a TikTok video of himself riding a longboard while lip-syncing the hit Fleetwood Mac single ‘Dreams’ and drinking from a container of Ocean Spray cranberry juice. The video spread across social media worldwide, with thousands offering their own takes on the ‘Dreams Challenge’ across social media platforms – even Fleetwood Mac band members Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks.
At the Korn Ferry Tour’s final event of 2020, the Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39, we knew we needed to make this happen.
Mackenzie noticed that Stephan Jaeger and his wife Shelby were traveling with their dog Phil. We asked Jaeger if he and Phil would be willing to participate in the ‘Dreams Challenge’ that afternoon. Jaeger and Phil agreed, and we met them at their rental house for a casual golf-cart ride while singing some Fleetwood Mac.