Mastercard’s Priceless Cities platform was built to engage cardholders through exclusive in-person events and experiences. But along with the global pandemic came the need to reimagine those experiences for a quarantined audience, and like many businesses before it, the financial services brand made the pivot to digital. As a result, a vast array of online experiences was offered to cardholders. To reach a broader audience, however, Mastercard hosted a series of free digital events that were shared on social and digital for all to enjoy. Enter: Digital Priceless Experiences.
Among the Digital Priceless Experiences offered to consumers sheltering at home was a “virtual showdown” between golf champions and Mastercard ambassadors Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links (Octagon, handled). To make it happen, the brand tapped into an existing relationship with the Top Golf brand, which it credits with attracting a new generation of golf fans. Leveraging Top Golf’s World Golf Tour virtual game, Mastercard pitted Rose and McDowell against one another in a matchup that included in-game branding. Streamed live on YouTube, the showdown was designed to generate some friendly banter while giving sports buffs something to root for, and keeping Mastercard top of mind.
More Digital Experiences:
- What Event Marketers Can Learn from Airbnb Online Experiences
- How Klarna Engaged Consumers Through a Virtual Drag Brunch Series
“We wanted to keep things fresh and different,” says Michael Goldstein, vp-sponsorships, North America at Mastercard. “And we thought that the banter would be fun and lively, and something golf fans certainly would be interested in. On top of that, it’s something that people are doing at home—playing video games with their friends. So that was the genesis behind all of it. And I thought the guys were very lively. It worked well and we had really, really strong engagement, and I’m glad we did it.”
In addition to the golf showdown, Mastercard’s Digital Priceless Experiences have spanned a range of activities hosted by brand partners, including a digital golf lesson with Annika Sörenstam, a knuckleball lesson with former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, a live fan Q&A with golf champion Ian Poulter, a mini concert series with Grammy nominee Camila Cabello and an at-home cooking lesson with chef Bryan Voltaggio. While the experiences were available online to the general public, there was also a personalized element for each activity that was exclusive to cardholders. For the golf showdown, McDowell took requests from a handful of cardholders, then sent each of them back a personalized message from Mastercard’s platform based on their wishes (think: advice on how to hit a seven iron better).
“We saw incredible engagement and content and numbers because I think people are so starved, especially then, for content,” says Goldstein. “But we made sure that Ian was incorporating his son and showing people how to putt, but making it clear that he was showing them things they could do at home. Tim Wakefield, who’s known for his knuckle ball, could go into the backyard with his daughter and show people how to throw a knuckle ball. Or it’s a chef that’s showing you how to cook the dish while you’re at home and have a little extra time with ingredients. So we tried to make it fun and engaging and relevant, but also taking into consideration what’s going on in the world around us.”