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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Twitter


In 2015, MasterCard was a sponsor of The Open Championship, one of the most anticipated golfing events of the year. The Open is a truly global tournament, celebrated across many different countries with various languages and cultures.

MasterCard's objective was to leverage the Open sponsorship to increase awareness of its association with golf, its golf benefits and to build brand affinity.

In social media, MasterCard wanted to maximize earned media, dominate the sponsor share of voice, and create meaningful engagements with fans by giving them access to exactly what they wanted, a legendary golfer.

Strategy and Execution

Unlike other modern sports golf is beyond eras, it's timeless. Having been a consistent fixture across 5 decades, with an undying belief in golf, 18-year-MasterCard ambassador Tom Watson is living proof of this timelessness. This made his last Open Championship at St. Andrews, Priceless.

We discovered that when a player crosses the bridge at St. Andrews for the last time, it is customary for him to thank fans by removing his hat. Golf fans do the same for the player in return. This was MasterCard's opportunity to let people experience a timeless player on a timeless course during a Priceless moment, closer than they'd ever been before.

For the first time, avid golfers everywhere would be able to participate in a historic moment (whether they were at the tournament or not) by taking their hats off to Tom Watson in honor of his retirement from the Open. With #HatsOffToTom, MasterCard encouraged fans to honor Tom by taking a hats off picture and sharing a photo or video of their hats off tribute on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HatsOffToTom.

As a brand that celebrates life's priceless possibilities, #HatsOffToTom allowed MasterCard to bring global golf fans closer to one of golf's most important moments.

We implemented this strategy in the following ways:


Through our record engagements across social media, significant connection with fans on site and our enhanced digital and physical earned media presence, we were able to deliver to golf fans exactly what they wanted, access to their heroes.

In showing golf fans that we understood what "Priceless" meant to them, we created a foundation for future brand loyalty and the ability to extend our understanding of key benefits for MasterCard cardholders, across more relevant channels at moments that truly resonate.

[1] MasterCard Sponsorship self-reported data, 2015

[2] social engagement benchmark 2.49%

[3] social engagement benchmark 2.49%:


Video for #HatsOffToTom

Entrant Company / Organization Name

McCann XBC, MasterCard


Entry Credits