Just as quickly as the rain came and went, so did The WM Phoenix Open. This year’s brand activations and experiences showed up (much like Saturday’s record-breaking crowd). Here are our favorites.

10. Louisiana Hot Sauce

Not every hot sauce is the Official Hot Sauce of The WM Phoenix Open—only Louisiana Hot Sauce owns that title. With that sponsorship came spicy Bloody Marys, hot sauce stations at the food courts, and a partnership with Pins & Aces for an Instagram giveaway of exclusive golf gear and other prizes.

While we love the title of “official” anything at an event, Louisiana Hot Sauce could have had more of a presence at The WM Phoenix Open—a tent with a game and giveaways would have elevated their presence and kept their brand top-of-mind.

9. Albertsons/Safeway 

While not the most exciting brand activation, an on-site convenience store with snacks, drinks, and acetaminophen is, well—convenient. When it comes to the look and feel, however, there’s an opportunity for more quality signage that ties into the event or informational signage to give the consumer an idea of the products they could find inside.

Albertsons pop up store at the WM Phoenix Open

Our favorite aspect of their sponsorship? The grocery store chain’s promotion for $25 off a general admission ticket not only increased sales for the Open, it also increased Albertsons and Safeway’s positive brand equity and brand awareness.

8. Tito’s Handmade Vodka

A step up from the Albertsons/Safeway activation, Tito’s liquor tent featured bright signage, branded golf balls outside the tent area, and a custom bar, making their activation more elevated while also more inviting. The rustic-feeling wooden bar aligns with Tito's differentiation of being "handmade" and creates a cozy feeling that also helps draw people in. And, if you’re going to have to wait in line to get a drink, at least it’s pretty!

On the flip side, the back wall is very dark. Adding neon orange signage to the back wall would create a more welcoming space and provide additional visual interest and branding alignment.

7. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

TPC Scottsdale’s next-door neighbor, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess had a presence at The WM Phoenix Open in the form of their new line of golf merch, Le Golf, which was debuted through an influencer campaign.

The merch, while fun, only loosely ties into The WM Phoenix Open. Other apparel brands created items that have a stronger tie to the event, and without that strong connection, customers may have gone in another direction when deciding on a souvenir.

6. La Marca Prosecco

The difference between most beer and liquor activations and La Marca Prosecco’s activation? This activation was just downright adorable. The focus on this flower shop aesthetic with real flowers and bottles of prosecco on shelves were well thought out, welcoming, and immersed visitors in the experience while they waited for a free sample. 

La Marca Prosecco, however, could have gone the extra mile to create a photo opportunity for customers featuring the same design, resulting in additional exposure for the brand in the form of user-generated content (UGC).

5. Bad Birdie

Golf merch is a given at The WM Phoenix Open, and Bad Birdie not only launched an exclusive collab for the Open, they teamed up with Four Peaks Brewing to create Bad Birdie Beer, “brewed for Arizona golf,” a very clever partnership and incredibly thoughtful launch date. Since the brew is sold in Arizona, the brand encouraged visitors to find it at Scottsdale grocery stores and bars while they were in town.

To take a step further in this collab, Bad Birdie could have provided a voucher for free or discounted Bad Birdie Beer with the purchase of their apparel at The WM Phoenix Open.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bad Birdie (@badbirdiegolf)

4. Ford

As with any typical car manufacturer activation, Ford brought out their latest and greatest vehicles to display. Ford was also giving away F-150 Lightning hats in exchange for consumer information, which is a good freebie on a sunny day but a great freebie on a rainy day.

We love that Ford tied into WM's focus on sustainability by featuring their new electric vehicles outside of their large tent. However, only two vehicles in front of their tent were electric (which feels a bit like green-washing). Ford could have leaned more heavily into the focus on sustainability by having signage showing the advantages of electric vehicles and including more electric vehicles as part of their activation.

In addition to their activation, Ford sponsored Ford Free Days, offering free admission on Monday and Tuesday. While this is a great perk, it wasn’t made well-known that Ford was the sponsor, which was a bit of a miss.

3. Coors Light

Let’s start with the obvious—Coors Light sponsors the Birds Nest, the “Official Afterparty” of The WM Phoenix Open, hosting four days of concerts after the final putt of the day.

Coors Light also sponsors Cove, one of “the most valued suite hospitality opportunities for the corporate participant.” The Cove had an air of exclusivity—a large, two-story entrance with unmissable signage welcomed attendees who walked over only to be turned away, not realizing it was a pre-paid suite. The area was further set apart by Cove branded sensors for guests to scan in and out of the area, in addition to a backdrop for photos, giving it the aura of a club.

Source: WM Phoenix Open

We love that Coors Light, typically a beverage for the average Joe, aligned itself with more of the high-end experiences at The WM Phoenix Open. This keeps their name top-of-mind when consumers have to choose between some of the other major beer brands available at The WM Phoenix Open.

2. Bottled Blonde 

WM Phoenix Open is a party, but the Bottled Blonde Tent on the 18th hole takes it to the next level. The experience itself is on-brand with Bottled Blonde’s Scottsdale location, which transforms daily from a pizzeria into a nightclub. At The WM Phoenix Open, that nightclub vibe transfers to their tent with bottle service, DJs, confetti cannons, and lots and lots of liquor.

Bottled Blonde and The WM Phoenix Open were a match made in heaven. This partnership works so well since the two brands share a party atmosphere, and being local, Bottled Blonde is a nighttime option that out-of-town visitors are already familiar with. To increase the impact of their presence at The WM Phoenix Open and increase sales at their nightclub in the evening, Bottled Blonde could have offered party bus transportation to their location in Old Town Scottsdale to keep the party going after hours!

  1. Waste Management

A clear winner, Waste Management’s activations this year were family-friendly with a focus on sustainability. Dubbed “WM Green Scene,” activations included cornhole, a water bottle-filling station, a chipping contest with recycled materials, and photo ops in mini garbage trucks and a repurposed dumpster bench.

Social media is filled with pictures of visitors at WM’s activation and with their signage around the course, which is exactly what a brand hopes for when they activate at an event.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by WM (@wastemanagement)

The WM Phoenix Open presents a great opportunity for brands, whether they choose to activate at the event itself or utilize it for marketing or new business purposes. Read this blog post to find out why we love it from a brand perspective.