HSBC Global ‘Anyone’s Game’ Aims To Open Golf To All

HSBC’s ambition for its golf partnerships is to open up the sport to new players and fresh audiences and its latest golf activation is designed to bring that objective to life.


The bank is rolling out a new golf campaign, ‘Anyone’s Game’, to showcase its sponsorship of both grassroots golf and flagship pro tournaments and to project its own aims and values.


The campaign is led by a TV ad that revolves around people from all walks of life playing golf in all sorts of varied (and unlikely) locations.


From inner city rooftops to fishing wharfs and from tattooed bikers to school girls, the creative features golfers from all ethnicities, segments, age groups and nationalities and it closes with the campaign tagline ‘It’s anyone’s game’.



The work rolls out first across Asia in late October to coincide with the start of the HSBC sponsored World Golf Championship in Shanghai.


A 60-second film made for YouTube, in addition to further digital, print and outdoor will launch globally ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January 2015.


The initiative will be promoted across social channels via @HSBC_Golf and it will also be brought to life through experiences at the bank’s interactive villages at flagship events.


Thus this multi-channel, global campaign aims to support HSBC’s wider golf portfolio and its own values.


HSBC worked in tandem with agency Saatchi & Saatchi and the campaign was written by Gemma Philips, planned by james Hilhouse and Enni-Kukka Tuomala, art directed by Mark Slack, produced by David White.


It was produced in Chile and Shanghai with director Scott Lyon (through Outsider) and photographer Dean Rogers.


Post was by Electric Theatre Collective, Mindshare handled the media (the planner was Amy Keaney), while Anthony Moore at Factory handled the audio




HSBC’s golf portfolio covers a wide range of activity from patron of the Open – the sport’s oldest tournament and trophy – through to its own flagship golf tournaments in Asia, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil,


‘We are also investing in grass roots programmes in the UK and China to help unearth future global superstars of the game,’ comments HSBC global head of advertising and marketing Andrea Newman.


‘Anyone’s Game is a campaign that recognises the changing shape and influence of the game of golf around the world.’


‘We’ve taken golf out of the club house into the real world, making it feel as popular, accessible and fun as more mainstream sports like football – and showing that golf really can be Anyone’s Game,’ adds Saatchi & Saatchi London’s chief creative officer Kate Stanners.


It might seem initially strange for a bank to lead this equality and open access charge, but HSBC is actually joining a wider group of sponsors and property owners all trying to make the game more accessible and more open – such as the recent PGA ‘Perfect Day’ campaign (see previous case study). 


Golf without its traditional elitism and archaic rules could certainly boost its appeal beyond its core white, western, middle-class demographic base.


And some may argue that the sport desperately needs this kind of fresh approach.


After all, the economic downturn has seen membership numbers and player numbers fall in the US and Europe.


One recent set of statistics from the National Golf Foundation shows that five million fewer people are now playing golf in the US compared to 10 years ago. It also found that golf participation among 18 to 34-year-olds has dropped 30% over the last decade.


For the eighth year in a row, more golf courses closed than were opened in the United States.


This may be partly a direct response to the belt-tightening of the recession, but research suggests it is also partly due to the impression among non-golfers that you need to be good at the game to be accepted by the golfing fraternity.


There are certainly some signs that golf as a sport is evolving – becoming more relaxed, more open and, yes, more equal.


Recent months have seen twin bastions of the games archaic traditions – the R&A and Masters host club Augusta National – finally open up membership to women.







HSBC Golf Twitter




HSBC Golf Weibo



HSBC YouTube



Saatchi & Saatchi London








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