San Francisco, CA - June 14, 2012 – WGT and the USGA (United States Golf Association) today announced that a record two million rounds of golf have already been played in the Virtual U.S. Open online golf championship. Now in its fourth year, the Virtual U.S. Open has become a key part of the digital experience on www.usopen.com which supports the U.S. Open golf championship being played June 14-17, 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
WGT, the makers of the largest online golf game, World Golf Tour, has digitally recreated The Olympic Club’s famous Lake Course using HD photography and its patented virtual reality technology. The free golf game is available online at www.usopen.com so anyone can play the entire course, or just one of the holes, under realistic conditions as part of the Virtual U.S. Open. Both the best online score and a lucky entry will both win trips to the 2013 U.S. Open as guests of the USGA.
“Partnering with WGT on the Virtual U.S. Open continues to be an integral part of our digital marketing strategy at the USGA because it drives a truly unique way for any golf fans to experience the championship courses online,” said Sarah Hirshland, Senior Managing Director of Business Affairs at the USGA.
Lexus has returned as the title sponsor for the 2012 Virtual U.S. Open, running a digital advertising campaign to engage golf fans and promote the new RX F SPORT luxury utility vehicle. The interactive Lexus campaign includes digital video ads, branded in-game tee markers, flagsticks and wind indicators, plus every fan gets a virtual avatar with a Lexus-branded golf shirt and hat. The campaign will generate more than 100 million impressions for Lexus in three months, plus another 100 million social ad impressions as the Lexus avatars are viewed by the more than five million registered players on World Golf Tour.
“We’ve designed our realistic sports games as interactive digital platforms for leading associations like the USGA and top brands like Lexus to reach their audiences in an completely engaging and memorable way,” said YuChiang Cheng, co-founder and CEO of WGT.
Based in San Francisco, WGT develops the most realistic and engaging online sports games. The flagship title, World Golf Tour, is the #1 online golf game with over 5 million registered players and over 250 million virtual rounds played. World Golf Tour features 15 famous virtual golf courses that are recreated using HD photography and patented technology, including recent U.S. Open courses: The Olympic Club (2012), Congressional Country Club (2011), Bethpage Black (2009) and Oakmont Country Club (2007). WGT offers a variety of free game types and optional virtual golf equipment from sponsors that include Callaway, Cleveland, Nike, Ping, Srixon and TaylorMade. In 2012, WGT launched WGT Baseball: MLB on Facebook, in partnership with Major League Baseball. More at www.wgt.com.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history, and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
Kate Pietrelli, WGT, email@example.com
Dan Hubbard, USGA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kat Kirsch, Lexus, email@example.com