Pegasystems, a technology company that prices itself on making “software that crushes complexity,” will be the Ryder Cup’s newest official supplier, joining others like Jim Beam, Chase’s Sapphire credit card and Polo Ralph Lauren.
“Pega is known for problem solving and delivering the right solutions to the world’s most sophisticated enterprises,” said Jim Richerson, president of the PGA of America. “At its core, the Ryder Cup is about overcoming obstacles, making Pega a natural fit to sponsor our next two competitions.”
The deal, announced today, starts with the match at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc., in September and continues through the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simon Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy.
“The Ryder Cup is about bringing together U.S. and European players in a rivalry that’s all about bridging divides in an environment that’s good for society,” Hayden Stafford, president of global client engagement at Pegasystems, said in an interview. “Those are our brand values. We want to show the world how our software delivers better customer experience.”
Pegasystems, which was started in 1983 in Cambridge, Mass., creates software that is used by large corporations and government agencies to manage complex systems. Large banks like JP Morgan and HSBC use its software to open new credit cards and bank accounts but also to manage complaints and disputes. Pegasystems helped several banks administer the paycheck protection program that was created during the Covid-19 pandemic. Its software also enabled the collection of data for the recent census.
“We’re a company that everyone uses but no one knows they’re using,” Stafford said.
And this is where golf comes in. Pegasystems wants to increase its brand awareness through its golf partnerships and find a way to connect with its clients off the course. Not surprising for a tech company, Pegasystems did extensive research before choosing to partner not just with the Ryder Cup but golf as sport: its target audience plays a lot of golf.
“I’m not an avid golfer, but we just know this is where our clients like to engage,” Stafford said. “The pandemic has changed how many businesses connect with clients. It’s time to go outside and bring us together. It’s not serendipitous that we’re doing this now.”
The company sees a huge advantage in being able to entertain clients at an event as well-known inside and outside of the golf world as the Ryder Cup and to do so both in the U.S. and Europe.
“The international nature of the Ryder Cup was super attractive to us,” said Tom Libretto, the company’s chief marketing officer. “We operate in 27 countries and have international clients. This being a global event gives us the opportunity to leverage our sponsorship in all of our markets.”
The partnership with the Ryder Cup is set up to be mutually beneficial. The company has plans to enhance the Ryder Cup experience. Stafford, who worked at IBM for 12 years earlier in his career, said he admired what IBM has done to advance the viewer experience of the Masters through technology. IBM’s Watson technology, for example, tracks every shot hit at the Masters and automatically generates short, highlight reals for each player.
Pegasystems, which has also signed on to sponsor pros Marc Leishman and Mel Reid, plans to use its software to enhance the golf experience at the event itself but also through mobile apps.
“We want to show how our software delivers a better customer experience,” Stafford said. “Our consulting and tech teams are going to work to improve the fan experience with the Ryder Cup.”