LendingTree Hits the Links

BOSTON LendingTree said it has signed a two-year marketing deal to become mortgage and home lending partner of golf’s PGA and Champions Tours.

This marks the first significant sports sponsorship for LendingTree, which plans to leverage the relationship through an integrated promotion that offers PGA-related rewards to consumers. Beginning in March, those who start their loan request from a new LendingTree/PGA Tour Web site may be eligible to receive rewards after closing on a loan.

Interpublic Group’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is lead agency for LendingTree, and Jon Hickey, svp, sports and entertainment marketing, helped negotiate the partnership. Mullen will contribute to upcoming efforts. Its work for the client is tagged, “When banks compete, you win.”

“The level of competition on the PGA Tour and the passion of its fans is a great fit for LendingTree,” said Bob Harris, client CMO.

Based on the amount of the loan, customers will have the choice of receiving dollar credit through the Tour’s new e-commerce site on PGATour.com, or credit for multiple rounds of golf through Ticket to Golf, a PGA-branded, pre-paid ticket that provides access to more than 2,000 golf courses throughout the country.

The promotion will be supported through network and cable television ads, as well as online and print efforts.

LendingTree spends approximately $100 million annually in domestic measured media and ranks among Mullen’s largest clients.

Terms of the PGA deal were not disclosed.

—Adweek staff report