By Larry Fine
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Golf fans surfing PGA Tour's websites and apps can now score rewards points in the golf organization's efforts to reach younger audiences and fantasy game players, a tour executive said Wednesday.
More than one million daily visitors to the tour's various platforms will be accumulating PGA Tour mPoints in conjunction with SessionM in a loyalty program launched this week.
Users will be able to trade points for merchandise, make charity donations or reap rewards such as Starbucks or Best Buy gift cards.
"Every month millions of people come to PGA Tour.com to follow all the tournament stuff," Scott Gutterman, vice president of digital operations for the PGA Tour, told Reuters under a shady tree at Augusta National.
"About 60 percent of our visits are coming to our mobile platforms, so we are looking for ways to motivate people to go around to the different applications we have."
From tournament leaderboards, to scorecards of all players and specific performance statistics, to videos and interviews, Gutterman said a heavy user could qualify for a modest reward in weeks or store up points for a more substantial payback.
Rewards would be claimed from the SessionM store and points can be accumulated from a network of other sites participating in the program, such as NASCAR.com and cbssports.com.
In another venture aimed at growing their millennials (the 18-35 age group) audience, the PGA Tour recently launched Skratch TV, golf's first internet video network.
Gutterman described Skratch TV as a "golf-with-attitude type of approach, faster paced," which is available through social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)