CDW Corp. is leveraging PGA Tour events to promote its charitable giving initiatives.

The technology provider in 2014 launched the effort at the Quicken Loans National, around which it teamed with Microsoft Corp. and the Folds of Honor Foundation to donate more than 100 Surface Pro 3 tablets to dependents of military servicemen and women.

PGA Tour pro and CDW ambassador Gary Woodland distributed the tablets to the families, while NBC Universal and The Golf Channel touted the initiative during tournament coverage.

CDW plans to replicate the program at two to three golf tournaments in 2015, beginning with the Waste Management Phoenix Open later the month.

“Charitable giving is core to the CDW brand. We can create greater relevance by combining those efforts with our media and sponsorship initiatives,” said Dean Lamb, CDW director of marketing, noting that the PGA Tour’s support of education, health care and other causes aligns with CDW’s charitable initiatives.   

CDW aligned with the PGA Tour in 2008 as the sanctioning body’s official technology partner.  

CDW’s Sponsorship Objectives
Since launching its sponsorship program in 2006 with a tie to Justin Wilson in the Champ Car World Series, CDW has formalized its sponsorship strategy by focusing on the following objectives:

Access one-of-a-kind experiences
CDW leverages sponsorship by offering one-of-a-kind experiences for customers and prospects. The company last year activated its new sponsorship of the NFL Arizona Cardinals with a post-game on-field event where guests could kick field goals and participate in other activities.

“We want behind the ropes hosting opportunities—things you can’t get anywhere else.”

CDW uses player endorsements to support the hosting program. In addition to Woodland, the company in 2014 signed a new partnership with pro golfer Camilo Villegas. CDW also has a long-standing partnership with Paula Creamer.

CDW plans to host guests at six to eight tournaments in 2015, including the BMW Championship, an event located near its corporate headquarters in Chicago.

Showcase product relevance
CDW uses sponsorship to showcase its technological expertise.

The company uses technology from Microsoft Corp. and other suppliers to enhance the fan experience, improve on-field play or a team’s front office. That includes Wi-Fi installations at pro sports stadiums, enabling Shotlink technology at PGA Tour events and helping the NFL Indianapolis Colts and other teams transition from paper playbooks to tablet computers.

“We want to show how we can support the technology needs of our partners and demonstrate our technology leadership.”

CDW also uses testimonials from chief technology officers and other executives from sponsored properties to showcase its expertise.

“It gives us a unique point of view to have the CTO at an NFL team talk about how they use our technology.”

CDW also promotes its leadership through videos, newsletters and other content marketing initiatives.  

Gain reach across multiple events  
CDW looks for opportunities to spread its message in front of different audiences.

The company partnered with the Arizona Cardinals due in part to upcoming events at University of Phoenix Stadium. The venue will host the 2015 NFL Super Bowl, the 2016 College Football Championship and the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament.

“We look for other events going on at a venue that will give us a platform to tell the story of how we help teams and venues deliver a better fan experience.”

Support local business offices
While CDW is a national brand, the company uses sponsorship to build local presence. For example, CDW partnered with the Cardinals to support a local sales office.

The company operates regional offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, among other locations.