We all know how integral to our lives social media has become, and if you've been paying attention in the golf space, you know that the big equipment companies have mastered social media about as well as anybody in any industry.
But here's a first: Callaway is teaming with LinkedIn for ''Hit the Links,'' a social networking contest in which golfers and a foursome of their LinkedIn contacts can win a trip to Callaway headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., for a round of golf and a custom clubfitting.
Here's how it works: You log into the LinkedIn Connect API. It then looks through your contacts and recommends a foursome for you.
The three connection types that the API looks for to fill out your foursome are:
--The Company Insider: Someone within your company. The API seeks out a golfer first, but if one isn't available, then it selects the person with the most appropriate title.
--The Business Contact: Someone in your network and industry that you have the most connections in common with.
--The Golfer: To find the passionate golfer in your network, the API references attributes such as interests and group membership. The person with the highest number of connections in common will be selected.
And if you don't like the API’s recommendations, Callaway says, you can ''mulligan'' them out and pick your own foursome.
''We are disrupting the traditional influence models in golf because golfers' expectations about how they experience brands has changed dramatically,'' said Callaway Senior Vice President Harry Arnett. ''This partnership and concept are exciting because no other company has used LinkedIn's API in this way before, and we're using it to connect passionate golfers.''
For Callaway, the ''Hit the Links'' campaign follows the ''Tweet to Unleash'' introduction of its RAZR Fit Xtreme driver earlier this year. In that Twitter-based campaign, Callaway used real-time social conversation to unlock information about the driver, breaking ranks with traditional product announcements and marking a first for the golf industry. And before that, Callaway's ''Holiday Hit the Pin'' sweepstakes on Pinterest was the first time a golf manufacturer had meaningfully connected with golfers on that space, by encouraging them to create a board with their dream bag of Callaway clubs.
''Hit the Links'' launched yesterday and runs through May 24. For more information and complete rules, visit CallawayHitTheLinks.com.