9. VP Sponsorship for Topgolf Media, Ed Willett
Ed Willett is a veteran of the golf and digital gaming industry. Willett is currently the VP of Sponsorships for Topgolf Media but has an extensive background in the sports industry. He previously served as the VP Business Development for the LPGA, held a senior sales position at ESPN and was VP Sales for Quick Hit, an online football game producer. Willett was able to give us some insights into the changing aspects of golf, especially sponsorships.
“It’s interesting, when you watch a tournament, the top ten players will have several logos and you might have a surprise person show up and really not have any, if you’re out of the top 50 or 100 players, it’s really tough for them to get sponsorship deals.”
Because of Topgolf and other online gaming services, people are starting to think differently about the game of golf. 82 percent of Topgolf guests say that playing there influenced their decision to play golf. It has brought new people to the game and Willett says most importantly, brings people together.
“It’s great for someone who hasn’t played the game to experience that fun,” Willett shared. “A lot people feel like golf isn’t the most fun sport, but if you do it at Topgolf, you’ll have a lot of fun.”
Listen below to hear more about digital gaming, golf tournaments and that round he played with Arnold Palmer.