View From the Spire: An Open Opportunity
February 15, 2011
I have long been an avid viewer of BBC’s coverage of The Open; with Peter Alliss and his meandering verbals; Ken out on the course; the dry Sam Torrance; young Andrew Cotter and some footballer who apparently plays a mean amateur game.
There is the theme tune; rousing music – bringing joy and inspiration to any would-be golfer; the compulsory end-of-the-day play montage (a BBC Sport signature piece?) and mandatory close-up of babies and good looking women. Finally, the once per day, slow panning zoom-out from dapper chaps near the Bollinger tent; revealing the extent of the tented village before finally bringing the viewers eye to attention with an all together different focus on some far flung vista. Each element typically BBC; collectively setting the standard for how golf on the box, should be.
This year however, I face a new way to view the same Open without my annual fix of golfing coverage from the BBC. For this year, and perhaps explaining nearly 11 weeks of View from the Spire silence; I will be on the ground in the tented village – as one of those dapper attired gents.
For the past two and half months, and on behalf of Edinburgh based Optimal Analysis, I have been developing the commercial opportunities of the multi-media platform behind the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy.
The Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy is a unique golf coaching platform, developed by Edinburgh-based Optimal, which allows golfers to interactively learn the characteristic, instinctive “Natural” play, made famous by the five-time major winner. The launch will take place at the Academies golf simulator in the Tented Village of the 150th Open Championships at St Andrews next week.
The platform provides a complete online coaching tool that enables golfers of all abilities the chance to learn the way of the three-times Open Champion’s natural methodology – playing with passion, intuition and in particular, mastering the key skills required to conquer the short game.
The Academy will provide both unique online and mobile phone offering and become a key part of a golfer’s personal tuition. After The Open, The Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy simulator will also attend a number of tour and retail events to engage golfers and corporate partners who, at core, will benefit from demonstrations and coaching on how Seve made doing it the hard way, look breathtakingly easy!
At www.SeveAcademy.com, golfers will also have access to an extensive library of multimedia lessons, exercises and tips, coupled with unique and exclusive footage of Seve throughout his successful career.
Contrary to recent reports, Seve himself has been spending a lot of time providing up-to-date content for the Academy; personally and by calling upon friends and colleagues to rally together to assist. This include support from top male and female touring professionals as well as many celebrity friends and supporters keen to support golf’s hero.
I have largely been focusing my efforts on ensure that consumers, corporate organisations and the media will also be able to be able to benefit from the Academy while at the same time showing support to Seve. Corporates of any size, across any industry can use the same Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy content to reward staff and clients and promote their own business in a unique and engaging manner.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, profits from the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy will fund a number of projects supported through his Foundation. The dual purpose provides funding for brain cancer research projects and funds underprivileged children with the skills and drive required to help them achieve their dreams in the golf world, through access to pro golf coaching. In the UK, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation works in partnership with Cancer Research UK to fund vital research into brain tumours.
Now for the most of you who know me well, you’ll have heard of my goal to create a “Golf Aid” – in the same way that my great mentor Craig Paterson created his Football Aid (www.footballaid.com). While I have had many an interesting discussion, and explored many opportunities – nothing has as yet provided an appropriate launch opportunity to fulfill that dream. That is – until now.
For as I write this, the realisation is that this IS the launch of an appropriate “Golf Aid”. Despite not being my own personal vision, I am delighted to have played a small part in helping take to market something that, like Football Aid, I am proud to associate myself with; am proud to have spent a time assisting the development of (even in a small way) and something that I can quite possibly say has been a fantastic use for three months of my career – so far.
And so, as you channel hop between BBC channels in mid-July watching The 150th Open Championship viewing a low panning zoom-out over the tented village at St Andrews, spare a thought for those of us working on the ground; welcoming customers into the arms of the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy and consider registering online at www.SeveAcademy.com.
If however, you are one of the 120,000 expected eager golfers to attend over the Championship week, why not make the journey to the tented village and drop in by the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy (Stand 76) and ask for me. We are easy to find – we are the dapper chaps by the Bollinger tent.
Optimal Analysis is a sports performance analysis solutions company. Since 2004, it has allowed countless sportsmen to achieve a higher level of performance using the latest performance-enhancing technology.Based in Edinburgh, with a presence across the globe, employing a mix of sports, IT and business professionals, Optimal has the products, skills and experience across sports and marketing environments including: technological solutions, online academies, marketing and advertising experience.