A sponsorship with the PGA has helped Constellation promote its brand by showcasing energy efficiency on golf courses.
“We wanted to be customer centric and talk about innovation,” says Kristina Gregory, vice president, marketing and corporate sponsorships for Constellation. “Corporate stewardship is important and we wanted to let customers know about our community focus.
Baltimore-based Constellation, part of Exelon Corp., serves about two million residential, business and public sector customers through six utility companies. The PGA partnership focuses heavily on promoting sustainability in golf and reducing the sport’s energy impact. The energy sector doesn’t typically spend a lot of money on brand building, but he partnership was appealing, because Constellation realized it could own the concepts of energy efficiency and sustainability with the PGA, as the association didn’t currently have a sustainability manager.
When the partnership started in 2016, Constellation did research to figure out what changes it wanted to measure and communicate to the public. “It provided the PGA with an opportunity to talk about Constellation naturally,” notes Gregory, who spoke at the recent ANA Masters of B2B in Chicago.
The average gold course spends more than $54,000 annually on electricity, especially when you consider the high water consumption of most courses and country clubs. Constellation’s sustainability initiatives could save the courses 30 to 40 percent each year.
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“A lot of clubs were already interested in sustainability and were starting to do small things,” she says. “We looked at how we could work with them as an energy partner and create fan engagement.”
At the Liberty National Golf Course, for example, Constellation did an audit and installed nearly 1,300 LED state-of-the-art energy efficient lamps, saving them 250,000 kWh in annual energy usage. There were no upfront costs for the upgrades, which were charged over 30 months through fixed charges on Liberty’s energy bill. Constellation’s B2B sales people saw the impact of the story immediately, and were able to leverage it when talking to customers.
The partnership is promoted through digital activations such as banners and Twitter contests, and through signage, wraps and other presences at PGA events, such as the Ryder Cup. The company is the title sponsor of the Constellation Senior Players Championship, and at the hospitality week there the brand was able to host over 400 B2B customers in a week.
Constellation has 23 different sponsorships, including deals with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Baltimore Ravens, and partners with Horizon Media’s Scout to measure how each are performing.
“We look at all our channels but it’s not just about entertainment,” she says. “It’s all really based on authenticity—we power the United Center, we power the Ravens, we power the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. We’re tying authentic partnerships with sponsorships.”