Tents provide shelter, sight lines and branding for the
PGA Tour’s BMW Championship.
In September 2013 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., more than 130,000 golf enthusiasts gathered to watch 70 finalists play one of the oldest games around, hosted by one of the oldest golf organizations in the United States—the Western Golf Association. Each year the association sponsors the BMW Championship to benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full tuition and housing scholarships to deserving young caddies. And each year for the last 40 years (since 1974 at the Beatrice Western Open), the association has called on Partytime–HDO Productions Inc. (formerly Partytime Productions), Niles, Ill., to provide tenting for the event.
New year, new venue
The tournament is at a different golf course every year, so Partytime–HDO begins working on the event nine months out, designing the tenting layout to fit the unique attributes of each venue. “As part of our preproduction planning, we need to fully understand the course layout in an effort to help the client get the most effective use of space to maximize its hospitality and revenue,” says Dennis Coppi, Partytime–HDO’s senior account executive, who managed the event. “We also implemented a detailed contingency plan to ensure we could accommodate any last–minute adds due to increased ticket sales or modifications.”
The company provided 65 tents for the tournament, totaling more than 100,000 square feet, including the BMW Owners’ Pavilion, which needed a unique look. For the pavilion, Partytime–HDO selected a 15–by–25–meter HTS–USA/Hocker Clearspan Manhattan, with custom glass on three sides, one hard–wall side, a thermo–inflatable roof, custom hard gutter system and custom valance around the top of the structure to establish client branding. The glass was installed horizontally to give the structure a unique cube–like look. The majority of the remaining tents had ceiling liners, and the crew installed glass walls and doors on many of the clearspans to give the clients clear sight lines of the tournament.
Hitting the sweet spot
The crew began installation shortly after July 4, giving them two months to complete the process. “The movement of materials and logistics flow was critical to install in an efficient manner so that we kept on schedule,” Coppi says. “We typically delivered materials to a holding area outside the golf course and then transported each tent to each specific hole on the course for installation.”
Tournament week brought a wide swing in temperatures, ranging from the 90s (Fahrenheit) in the beginning of the week to the mid 60s by week’s end. “On Sunday—the day that was supposed to be the final day of the tournament—the course was hit with an epic rainstorm, which dropped so much water that play was suspended until Monday,” Coppi says. “All of our tents fared the weather without any issues whatsoever.”
Partytime–HDO’s involvement in the 2012 BMW Tournament contributed to the PGA naming it “Tournament of the Year.” “That set the standard of how we approach and bid specific golf tournaments,” Coppi says. “We’re proud to be part of that prestigious award.”
[ In early 2012, Partytime Productions acquired HDO Productions, becoming Partytime–HDO Productions. Its clients include more than 400 of the Fortune 500 companies; major sporting events, including the production of more than 100 golf tournaments; and the White House and the vice president’s residence. ]