For the third consecutive year, professional cleaning product supplier E.D. Oates has sponsored the Oates Victorian Open men’s and women’s championships, which was held at 13th Beach Golf Links at Barwon Heads (Victoria) from 4 to 7 February, 2016. INCLEAN was invited to the event to talk with CEO, David Birch, and national sales manager, Lucas Paris, about the positive engagement of being part of such an event. Kim Taranto reports.
David is a Barwon Heads local and has been a member of the golf club for the past 10 years, but while it was his suggestion for Oates to sponsor this major sporting event, the decision to invest was made by parent company GUD Holdings Limited. “It’s not just about the branding opportunities,” said David. “It’s about being part of a unique sporting event that is strongly supported by the community.”
The Oates Victorian Open is the only golfing tournament where the men and women competing get to play alongside each other and enjoy equal billing. Its popularity spiked last year when power couple Richard Green and Marianne Skarpnord claimed respective Vic Open titles in 2015. Marianne won the women’s tournament by two strokes while her fiancé Richard took the men’s victory with a birdie on the second hole.
Just by coincidence, Oates is also the sponsor of both champion golfers. “It’s great to have two successful sporting ambassadors wearing our brand,” remarked Lucas. “Adding to that they are also two of the nicest, and very humble people, who are happy to tee off with anyone who gets the chance to play with them.”
That’s exactly what Oates offers to its clients – the opportunity to play a round of golf with the pros during the Pro-Am before the tournament. The couple is also invited to Oates’ corporate events to which they are more than happy to attend. “All of the pros are so appreciative of the support offered by sponsors such as us, but also the support of golfing fans,” said Lucas.
This year Oates’ branding incorporated a wall of mop buckets, a gigantic banner at the far end of the golf course, tees designed in the shape of buckets and broom heads, and a stand on which visitors could practice their putting. And of course many of Oates’ clients attended the tournament on various days to watch the excitement from the comfort of the marquee.
While we watched one of the women golfers putt into a ‘shifty’ headwind and a round of applause ensued, David reiterated what a prestigious event the Oates Vic Open is. “Golf is as much about comradery as it is skill and Oates is proud to be aligned with this event and the professional sportspeople who help create it.”