How Toledo convinced the LPGA to bring The Solheim Cup to town
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The presentation to the LPGA to get The Solheim Cup in Toledo started with more than 200 area community leaders and business CEOs chanting ‘U-S-A’ inside Inverness and spilled out into the fairway, where there was a military fly-over followed by a bagpiper playing down the fairway.
There needed to be a memorable show to convince the panel that Toledo was ready, willing, and able to host the huge event. It paid off, with the committee awarding the tournament to Toledo in the fall of 2016.
The Solheim Committee was headed up by local CEO Richard Hylant and business consultant Meg Ressner, and the marketing campaign was put together by Coact and Associates CEO Mark Frasco and his team.
Frasco says the combination of Toledo and Inverness was easy to sell because of the solid hometown roots: “How do we tell the LPGA and the golf world what we already know.”
Hylant said the panel wanted to be ‘wowed.’
“The one thing they really emphasize is, separate yourself and wow us,” Hylant said. “So, we did with the presentation and Toledo’s strength sold the rest. You draw a 500-mile ring around the city of Toledo, you get a big population base, and you get another country.”
Ressner added, “We talked about how we were going to make this the greatest party ever, from the time people arrive to the time people depart, both on and off the golf course.”
And Ressner says that message goes to Toledo residents as well.
“Most importantly, you want to be part of the Tuesday morning conversation. And that’s what we want to create,” she said. “Whatever role, whatever way you want to participate in Toledo hosting this amazing event, that you get a chance to do it and that you’re part of the Tuesday morning conversation.”
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