Tee Off! : Waste Management Phoenix Open
Q&A with Lisa Gordon, director of branding and advertising
What is your role in organizing the WMPO?
I manage all of the marketing and branding for Waste Management — everything from our advertising on The Golf Channel and
CBS to the on-course branding, such as signage, water features, tent-top logos, etc. I also manage and organize our Executive
Sustainability Forum, where on the first day of the tournament we invite high-level executives to discuss hot topics in sustainability.
What does it take to plan the WMPO?
Five months before each Waste Management Phoenix Open, we establish a planning team that includes representatives from
marketing, corporate communications, operations, sustainability services, sales and outside agencies. I manage the weekly calls
with this team and coordinate action items across each of the departments.
After four tournaments, what are you most proud of?
We truly have integrated our brand into the tournament and have proven Waste Management to be a sustainability leader. We are
making history in sports and sustainability and are using every opportunity to promote WM accordingly. Earlier this year, we had
a sports marketing agency do a media valuation to help us understand how our TV coverage measured up against other tournaments.
They showed us that the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open received more media coverage than virtually any other non-major
PGA TOUR tournament — all because of the significant planning done in advance to ensure coverage for our brand.
We have won several awards over the past few years for our work. In 2011, we earned “Best Title Sponsor Integration” by the PGA
TOUR and were a finalist for the same award in 2012. We were also recognized by the American Marketing Association of Houston
as the “2012 Marketer of the Year” for the B2B category and won their “Crystal Award” for the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
What do you have in store for the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open?
This year we are launching #greenestshow, which is a branding and social media campaign that will show the work we’re doing to turn
the “greatest show on grass” into the “greenest show on grass.” We’re also launching an employee recycled art contest in which WM
employees can make art out of everyday waste materials. The winner and a guest will receive a trip to the 2014 WMPO.
What are your goals for the event?
Our goal for every Waste Management Phoenix Open is to position Waste Management as a sustainability leader. My goals for the 2014
WMPO are to continue to be a zero waste event and to promote our #greenestshow campaign. We will engage many different constituents
in the #greenestshow campaign: WMPO attendees, PGA TOUR players, other sponsors and vendors, WM employees and the community
What do you think all employees should know about this event?
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a very impactful way for us showcase ourselves as North America’s leading environmental solutions
provider. We know from research that two-thirds of our target audiences feel more favorable about Waste Management after having seen
(or attended) the WMPO. It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.