Shaffer scores for its corporate clients with affordable luxury on the course.
By Jessica Larscheid
The U.S. Women’s Open is a pinnacle championship in women’s golf, and such a major event requires significant planning and top-of-the-line tents. In order to create the prestigious look needed for the 2008 event, organizers turned to Shaffer Sports.
Shaffer Sports, in its fifth year of working on the U.S. Women’s Open, was asked this year by Bruno Event Team, a sports marketing and event management company based in Birmingham, Ala., to create an upgraded interior on a strict budget within an eight-week build timeline. Since the majority of the structures were used for individual and corporate hospitality venues, décor was the key.
Modular wood interiors were used to design a custom look for the hospitality tents’ walls, refreshment areas and LCD screen columns, creating a luxurious appearance. Colored swags were draped across the white ceiling liners to complete the look.
To make this project more affordable, yet still attractive, Shaffer offered ideas for creative solutions. Shaffer suggested relocating tents and skyboxes to achieve lower floor heights, which saved money on elevation expenses.
“When we are in a position to cut costs, [Shaffer works] with us and can be relied on to help us with ideas on how to save money without sacrificing the overall look,” says Sean Sovacool, senior vice president of Bruno’s golf division. Additionally, the team tried to create cohesive accesses to venues by reviewing entrances and combining elevated walkways and stair locations, which saved money on carpet and materials.
One of the biggest challenges during this setup was a last-minute request to change all the furniture and accessories for one of the high-profile hospitality clients. Shaffer met the challenge by shipping in items from its warehouse in Houston, as well as sub-renting the remaining items from a local Minneapolis company.
Another potential hurdle was the placement of the tents and skyboxes on a tight golf course site, which could have presented build challenges. Shaffer worked with the Bruno Event Team to ensure this would not derail any of the meticulous planning.
“Shaffer has exceeded our expectations for the overall look while hitting the timelines,” Sovacool says. “They truly are a partner working with us to design the look of our Championships.”