An increased focus on data and analytics is driving sponsorship success for the LPGA, both in terms of new sponsors and increased fan engagement.

The pro golf tour has secured 10 new marketing partners and seven new title sponsors over the past two years, and plans to announce three to four more marketing partners and one new title sponsor in the coming weeks.

Recent partners include XL Catlin, NEC Corp. (the LPGA’s first sponsor in the technology category) and, as of this month, Umbel, a company that specializes in creating social-centric marketing campaigns.

And at least one of the new partners the LPGA plans to announce operates within the larger “data” category.

“Data gives us a competitive advantage—it helps us make more strategic decisions and bring more value to partners. Having partners in this space makes us more marketable, allows us to go deeper in conversations, and allows us to be more focused with targeted digital advertising in markets where we have tournaments,” said Kelly Hyne, LPGA senior vice president of strategic partnerships.

The LPGA will leverage its new partnership with Umbel to analyze fan behavior and brand affinities, with the goal of broadening its fanbase, enhancing global reach and helping sponsors better engage fans.

Case in point: The LPGA is gearing up a sweepstakes for Kia in advance of the March 22-25 Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif. The social media campaign will give consumers the opportunity to pick the winner of the tournament, with the winner receiving a trip to the 2019 event.

Unlike a typical sweepstakes that is used to capture email addresses, the LPGA will use the promotion to build out customer profiles based on their social media history, which in turn will help Kia drive lead generation via targeted messaging.

“It’s a way for the LPGA to drive a better understanding of who our fans are and provide value to our partners,” said Hyne.

Umbel will use the LPGA to showcase its capabilities to other sports properties, said Hyne. The sponsorship includes signage, hospitality and involvement at LPGA women’s leadership summits throughout the year.

In addition to partnering with companies in the data and technology categories, the LPGA also has seen success using digital platforms to extend reach, access new sponsorship inventory and deepen sponsor engagement.

The platforms include the LPGA Women’s Network, an online community designed to unite women through golf-related lifestyle content; LPGA 360, a content site that offers a behind-the-scenes look at players and their stories; and opendorse, a third-party platform that helps the LPGA’s more than 200 athletes build and monetize their social media channels via the distribution of LPGA content.

The LPGA positions the content as a storytelling platform, with a focus on women’s leadership, diversity and inclusion. XL Catlin, for example, uses the LPGA Women’s Network to promote the XL Catlin Volunteer Service Award.

XL Catlin joins DowDuPont, Kia and KMPG as the four founding partners of the LPGA Women’s Network, while Leaders Cosmetics, PNC, Prudential, Smucker and XL Catlin sponsor LPGA 360 content, among other companies.

The LPGA’s global presence also has played a role in the golf association’s growth. The LPGA this month announced a new international facility in Busan, South Korea. The company operates 37 flourishing LPGA Golfwear stores in the country via a licensing deal with MK Hansae.

“A key advantage for us is being a one-stop shop for partners that want to activate all over the world,” said Hyne, noting that the LPGA’s 34 tournaments in 14 countries and 550 million-plus global TV viewers played a role in attracting XL Catlin and NEC.