On the heels of the recent announcement of the formation of three professional golfers into “Team Perficient”, I sat down with Perficient’s Vice-President of Marketing, Bill Davis, to learn more about how the team came to be, why there’s such strong alignment between our brand and the athletes selected, and why Perficient’s so excited about these partnerships going forward.
Bill, thanks for the time. Why golf?
Hey Marisa, thank you for the interest. This is certainly something we’re really excited about. Golf’s a game that resonates with our colleagues and customers for many reasons. It’s a sport that requires tremendous dedication – to perform at the levels these athletes do requires intense focus and dedication and an unwavering commitment to determination and discipline. I’m sure each of them would tell you it’s also about a lifelong process of learning that demands humility, curiosity, and flexibility.
That’s not unlike the journey many of our customers have taken – the senior decision-makers and C-level executives we partner with and advise have demonstrated a similar attitude and aptitude over the course of their careers. So, in some ways, I think our customers have an inherent understanding of the real level of professionalism this level of the game requires – beyond just the pure talent.
Yes, but tactically, why golf?
Well, there are a couple interesting things worth noting there. First of all, we’re big believers in the power of sports marketing – we have great partnerships with MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals, the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. The benefits of those relationships do drive some national exposure for us but the branding benefits accrue primarily in the specific markets. On the other hand, these golfers are truly global and the benefits are not concentrated in, or constrained to, any particular market or geography. As we continue to build Perficient into a true global powerhouse, we knew this was something that would drive visibility for us on a commensurate scale.
Additionally, we had a high degree of confidence that, on a relative basis, the game would be minimally impacted by the pandemic. Some of the challenges the team leagues and sports are dealing with are less of an obstacle to golf. So, we felt good about the game’s ability to weather the storm and keep the major tournaments and events on track.
How did Perficient assemble the team? Why did we choose the athletes we did?
It was a really interesting process and I’m thrilled with the outcomes. Fundamentally, we started with the proposition that we wanted recognizable names, but where we could really establish a meaningful rationale and ‘connection’ with each.
We gravitated to Matthew Wolff for several reasons – obviously an incredibly exciting young golfer – one of the game’s brightest developing stars with tremendous upside – you saw that from his U.S. Open performance. But what also appealed to us was his uniqueness – he’s really forging his own path with a distinct swing and game approach. As Matthew said when we announced the Team, like Perficient, he’s a disruptor. He’s doing things his own way, distinguishing himself and shaking things up – much as we’re doing as we grow and compete against and routinely beat much bigger ‘names’ in our industry. Matthew’s unapologetically succeeding by doing things differently, just like we are at Perficient.
Morgan Pressel we identified based on her incredible track record of longevity and performance – a truly consistent and dependable athlete. We were also inspired by Morgan’s proactive commitment to philanthropy. She’s done such great work through her Foundation raising funds for breast cancer research and as we learned more about her, it was clear we shared a common interest in and commitment to giving back and trying to make the world a better place.
And Abraham Ancer, another easy choice. Perficient’s an ambitious and innovative place, and that captures Abe’s spirit pretty well also. In addition to being one of the top-ranked golfers in the world, Abe’s the co-founder of an apparel company AND separately, a tequila company. All of that before the age of 30 – pretty impressive.
So when you see Perficient colleagues wearing Black Quail apparel and sipping a fine Flecha Azul tequila, you’ll know why. Abe’s pride in his Latin American heritage also appealed to us as we recently expanded in the region and as we approach a point where almost half of our consulting staff exists nearshore or offshore. Perficient’s a truly global company and to be able to add Abe the team was a real highlight.
And beyond those specific reasons, each of these folks are just great people – personable and down to Earth – and we knew they’d be great ambassadors for Perficient and wonderful for our key customers to meet and spend time with.
Speaking of client engagement, what might these relationships mean for some key customers?
Well, of course we’ll encourage everyone affiliated with Perficient to root the Team on, but there are some experiential inclusions in the agreements that we’re pretty excited about. We’ll have the ability to set up some rounds with the pros, do some meet-n-greets, virtual events, memorabilia, and the like. We’re really looking forward to introducing these athletes to the F500 and F100 executives we’re working closely with on a regular basis.
Thanks again for the time today – anything else you think important to cover as we wrap up?
Thank you. I don’t think so – other than to reiterate we’ll really happy about the Team we’ve assembled and that they’ll be representing Perficient for years to come as we continue to build the business into the leading digital consultancy on the planet.
At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.