Explore Minnesota and Golf Legend Tom Lehman Tee Up #OnlyinMN Golf Campaign

Apr 05, 2016

State of Minnesota
Media contacts:
Alyssa Ebel, Explore Minnesota, (O) 651-757-1857, (C) 651-276-8738, alyssa.ebel@state.mn.us, @ExploreMN_PR


Explore Minnesota and Golf Legend Tom Lehman Tee Up #OnlyinMN Golf Campaign

Lehman Featured in All-New Minnesota Tourism TV Commercial

ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 5, 2016) – Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, has teamed up with golf pro Tom Lehman to promote Minnesota's golf and tourism riches in an all-new TV commercial. The TV ad, entitled "Legendary Moments," will launch during this week's 2016 Masters Tournament, as part of Explore Minnesota's popular #OnlyinMN travel marketing campaign.

Lehman, a Minnesota native and University of Minnesota graduate, has been a force on the PGA and Champions tours for years, and will serve as vice captain for the U.S. at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minn., this fall. Explore Minnesota's golf marketing campaign will leverage buzz around the highly anticipated event, and also reach an international audience.

In addition to Lehman's domestic fame, he is well known overseas. He won the 1996 Open Championship in England and continues to win on U.S. soil, having scored a victory at the Champions Tour SAS Championship in October 2015.

"Minnesota's golf courses are highly ranked and impress with their beautiful natural settings, excellent conditions and accessibility to golfers of all levels," says John Edman, director/CEO of Explore Minnesota. "Tom is the perfect ambassador to showcase the premier golf experience that can be found only in Minnesota to visitors across the globe."

Lehman says Minnesota offers exceptional golf, and so much more: "It's the beautiful north woods and 10,000 lakes. It's campfires and northern lights. It's the very big Mall of America and countless cultural experiences that make Minnesota a must-visit destination."

Lehman's cameo in the new commercial was filmed at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, Minn., while other shots feature Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., and The Legend and The Quarry golf courses at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn. It will air in rotation with two other new Minnesota tourism ads, which will run in the following markets: Kansas City, Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Omaha, Winnipeg, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and on FSN during select Twins games.

Photos of Tom Lehman from the Explore Minnesota TV shoot at Rush Creek Golf Club are available here.

Explore Minnesota's golf campaign will also be the forefront of test marketing efforts to Dallas-Ft. Worth this summer. The new strategy positions Minnesota's high-quality golf as a great excuse to beat the summer heat in Texas, with affordable, non-stop airfare from Dallas-Ft. Worth to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Golf in Minnesota
According to the Minnesota Golf Association, the state boasts more than 500 golf courses and 8,100 holes, encompassing 67,500 acres of green space and 4,500 acres of wetlands. Ninety percent of Minnesota golf courses are open to the public, with three of them on Golf Digest's list of the "100 Greatest Public Courses" in America. A handful of Minnesota's courses were designed by some of the nation's top golf architects, and the season runs as long as six months out of the year. The wide variety of places to tee off ranges from city and suburban courses to rugged north woods, lakeside terrain and sweeping Mississippi River Valley vistas.

Marketing #OnlyinMN Moments
In partnership with Minneapolis-based advertising agency Colle+McVoy, the popular #OnlyinMN marketing campaign features a total of three new TV spots this spring/summer 2016; radio promotion on MPR's popular "A Prairie Home Companion"; inspiring print, digital and mobile advertising; engaging social media; and innovative out-of-home advertising tactics specifically targeted to growth markets: Kansas City, Denver and Chicago. Strategies in these markets include a building mural and portable shipping containers with immersive Minnesota travel experiences inside that will appear at local events in Kansas City, Denver and Chicago. These and other campaign elements will be seen at different times throughout the spring/summer season.

To date, the popular #OnlyinMN hashtag has been used more than 300,000 times, and Explore Minnesota has amassed more than 242,000 fans on social media.


About Explore Minnesota
As the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota with tourism businesses and organizations.

Tourism is a $13.6 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry—a major provider of tourism services—employs more than 254,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota's private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17 percent of the state's sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes nearly 70 million domestic and international travelers annually.

See what's happening right now, only in Minnesota, at exploreminnesota.com and join the movement via @exploreminn on Twitter and Pinterest, or @exploreminnesota on Instagram and Facebook, using #OnlyinMN.