The Digital Solheim Cup has arrived at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club. In her role as Europe’s team Captain of this year’s mega event in ladies golf (St. Leon-Rot, September 18 to 20), Carin Koch inaugurated the Social Wall in the club house of St. Leon-Rot Golf Club; during the week of tournament, the wall will show all digital content posted in the context of the competition. On the occasion of a team practice session, Carin Koch had invited potential team members for the trans-Atlantic competition between Europe and the U.S. to the golf club near Heidelberg, Germany; Caroline Masson from Gladbeck, Germany, was one of them. On August 25, the European Team will be finalised with the Captain announcing her four picks along with the eight players qualifying through LET Solheim Cup points and Rolex World Rankings.
Koch said: “I am already very excited because the tournament will start soon. We have been receiving fantastic support via social media: Fans from all corners of the world are contributing to the digital battle and are cheering us on, which is immensely motivating. Just imagine the atmosphere we will experience on site!”
The “digital battle” which was initialised by the Global Partner Allianz allows athletes, fans and famous promoters to express their support for their team via social media. To contribute, all you have to do is visit the Solheim Cup on facebook, twitter or instagram and use the hash tag of your respective team #GoTeamEurope or #GoTeamUSA. All posts are collected as part of a social feed (http://solheimcupbattle.com) which puts flesh on the digital battle. The digital battle will stay live during the Solheim Cup as well, as the Social Wall with a size of ten square metres will be put up in the entrance area of the tournament and all contributions will be displayed there. A large number of people have already posted supporting messages, for example Oliver Bierhoff, the manager of the DFB team, and Sandra Gal, Germany’s number one female golfer.
Eicko-Schulz-Hanssen, CEO of St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, said: “This digital aspect ensures that everybody will be able to experience the Solheim Cup – not only golf fans, but everyone who is interested in sports. Thus, this high-class sport event hosted in Germany in 2015 will be placed on an international stage.”
Manfred Boschatzke, head of advertisement and sponsoring at Allianz Deutschland, is glad about the large number of people who participate in the digital battle and the growing number of fans, especially on facebook. Here, the number of fans increased from 5,000 at the beginning of last year to 100,000. Boschatzke said: “The increasing popularity clearly shows that we adopted the right strategy.”
Official 2015 Solheim Cup App
One important part of the digital strategy that was implemented early on is the Official Solheim Cup App. The software group SAP from the neighbouring city Walldorf is a Global Partner of the Solheim Cup and supplies the technology for this digital adventure. The Fan App may be downloaded for free in established stores and plays a central role in inking the organisers of the tournament and players with fans. Even before the event starts, the app provides relevant information on the tournament, the location, the players’ profiles as well as an interactive quiz. During the tournament, digital graphics including comprehensive statistics in real time will enable fans to follow the event more closely than ever before. This enables non-golfers to experience the fascination of golfing and golf fans to witness unparalleled insights. Katja Mehl, Head of Marketing Middle and Eastern Europe, SAP SE, explained: “We aim to give meaningful support to the Solheim Cup by supplying innovative solutions and, in this way, help fans experience the tournament more intensely, be it on site or remotely.” The software group has comprehensive know-how in the field of sports: Its innovative technologies are used in football, tennis and sailing, for example.
Live TV broadcast and live stream
The technology by the Walldorf-based software group also plays a pivotal role when it comes to TV live broadcasting: Thanks to innovative TV graphics, the Solheim Cup will become a TV adventure. The German broadcasters Das Erste and SWR will cover much of the tournament, which marks this millennium’s first live broadcast of a golf tournament by ARD during prime time. A live stream on the Solheim Cup website (www.solheimcup.de) will also cover the entire event for free.
Manfred Boschatzke, head of advertisement and sponsoring at Allianz Deutschland, said: “Since we have supported young golf players for many years, we know how important being a role model for the younger generation really is. The Solheim Cup unites the highest level of competition and Olympic values such as fairness and team spirit. In view of the fact that golfing has again been admitted as an Olympic sport for the Games in Rio in 2016, the news that golf will be shown on free TV again sends out a wonderful signal.”