Jason Day is now the world’s best golfer and one Bellevue, Wash.-based travel expense software company couldn’t be more thrilled.
When Concur first announced that it was sponsoring Jason Day a little more than a year ago, it seemed like a peculiar combo. First of all, why was Concur — which was acquired by SAP for $8.3 billion this past September — sponsoring a golfer? And second, why Day? The then-26-year-old was among the best professional golfers, but he wasn’t exactly a household name.
Fast forward to today, and the decision has certainly already paid dividends. Day has had a career-best year on tour in 2015 and won his first major title this past August at the PGA Championship.
The pro golfer, who also finished ninth at the U.S. Open near Seattle in June and fourth at the British Open in July, continued his hot streak after the PGA Championship, winning The Barclays by six shots on Aug. 30 and then setting a PGA Tour 36-hole scoring record en route to a BMW Championship win last week — an achievement that helped propel the Australian atop the world’s golf rankings for the first time ever.
Day’s success is fantastic news for Concur, whose logo is stitched on the upper left area of his golf shirts.
“The increase in exposure of the Concur brand to our target audience is clear,” Concur CMO Jerame Thurik told GeekWire. “People are reaching out to our employees and saying things like, ‘Concur must be a great company if you sponsor someone like Jason Day!’ The sponsorship is definitely contributing to increased awareness of Concur around the world.”
Concur, which had not previously sponsored an individual athlete, decided to venture into the golf sponsorship world early last year.
“As a global company with customers in more than 150 countries, we needed to focus our advertising effort on reaching financial decision makers on a global scale,” Thurik explained. “We selected golf as the sport to sponsor because golf has worldwide appeal, and a lot of businesspeople make deals on the green or follow the sport in their spare time.”
Concur’s marketing team then honed in on Day after looking for a golfer who could represent the company’s core values. Thurik said that Concur identified with Day immediately after meeting him in person, and soon the golfer inked a multi-year deal with his first technology sponsor.
When we caught up with Day at Concur’s headquarters in Bellevue this past June, he said the company was a “perfect fit.”
“My career is at a turning point and I’m looking to expand and really grow as a player and person,” he told GeekWire. “I just felt like Concur as a company kind of fit that mold.”
Thurik said that the partnership with Day extends past the golf course, too. For example, earlier this year Concur was the title sponsor of the inaugural charity golf event for The Brighter Days Foundation, a non-profit run by Day and his wife Ellie. When the couple visited Concur’s HQ in June, they helped stuff backpacks with food to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County.
“By finding an athlete who so closely ties to our corporate values, we felt we could represent the Concur brand in a dynamic way,” Thurik said. “In Jason Day, we’ve found an athlete who embodies integrity, poise, humility, determination, and a commitment to community.”