Golf, food and tourism agency The Word Association is marking its 10th anniversary by reaching a number of important milestones and announcing plans for expansion. Founded in 2008 and based at the Home of Golf, The Word Association has established itself as one of the leading marketing consultancies in the golf industry and beyond.
Formed by husband-and-wife team Mark and Yvonne Alexander, the business works alongside private clubs, golf resorts and tourism businesses as well as hotels and industry trade bodies. Recently, it expanded its remit to provide support to local community initiatives and partnership enterprises with bespoke video and photography services.
Its 10-year anniversary has been marked by a new contract that assumes responsibility for the promotion and administration of a group of prestigious golf clubs that collaborate under the banner Links with History. Working with other private member golf clubs and celebrated courses such as Kingsbarns Golf Links, The Word Association has steadily added to its client base over a decade of growth.
“It’s been a busy year for us,” explained Yvonne Alexander, director at The Word Association. “We are thrilled to have taken over the marketing and administration of Links with History and are seeing a steady rise in enquiries from golfers wishing to visit these great courses. Our intention is to grow the business to the benefit of the golf clubs we represent.”
Speaking on behalf of Links with History, David Roy from Crail Golf Society said the group was already benefitting from partnering with The Word Association. “The Word Association is well known to all four clubs that constitute Links with History owing to its high profile and glowing reputation in the golf industry,” he noted. “Mark and Yvonne have proved to be both delightful and diligent in promoting our five championship golf courses and we look forward to an exciting and fruitful relationship.”
Reaching the 10-year milestone has been an important staging post for the agency, which has amassed over four decades of accumulated experience in consultancy, marketing, journalism and photography. “The last decade has been a great adventure,” said Alexander. “During that time, we’ve worked with some wonderful clients across the UK and Europe, from high-profile businesses to fledgling start-ups. It has been challenging at times with an uncertain world economy and the golf industry trying to find its place in an increasingly crowded marketplace, but our focus has always been to communicate compelling stories that help create robust brands.”
One long-standing client is the acclaimed golf venue and host to the Women’s British Open Kingsbarns Golf Links, which enjoyed its busiest ever season during 2017. “We do things differently at Kingsbarns, and the Word Association understands our communication strategy perfectly,” explained Alan Hogg, CEO at Kingsabrns Golf Links. “They deliver our message to the industry with a consistent eloquence mixed with a subtle flair.”
As well as traditional PR and marketing, The Word Association has a growing reputation for project managing social media campaigns and creating corporate and promotional videos. “We have responded to the rise of social media and the growing significance of online communication by adapting our skills,” said Alexander. “One objective is to produce engaging video content that can present our clients to an even wider audience.”
This additional service is best illustrated by work completed for Our Bright Future, a partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. “The Word Association guided me through the video-making process helping bring to life the aims, feel and key messages we wanted to portray through our video,” explained Sarah MacDonald, programme coordinator at Our Bright Future. “The shoots were easy, relaxed and fun, and the finished product professional which is already helping us achieve our aim of attracting young people to our programme.”
Based in Fife, The Word Association is also closely linked with Mark Alexander Golf Photography, which specialises in golf course imagery, portrait and commercial photography. Throughout 2017, this side of the business captured the stunning fairways of some of the UK’s best-known courses and is looking forward to a memorable 2018, not least because of the return of The Open to Carnoustie which Mark photographed ahead of the tournament.
“During 2017, I was commissioned to photograph some stunning golf courses throughout the UK,” noted Mark Alexander. “The images are being used in marketing and advertising campaigns as well as part of social media campaigns, which is becoming increasingly important. I’ve also introduced a bespoke greetings cards service which is proving lucrative for many of my clients. For me, it’s important to provide a thorough service delivering high-quality imagery. As long as I can do that, I’m a happy man.”
The celebratory year has started well for the agency with projects underway for Montrose Golf Links and Carnoustie Country in the run-up to the 147th Open at Carnoustie. “Ultimately, we enjoy what we do and believe in the services we provide,” said Mark Alexander. “Our clients are fantastic to work with and see the benefits of partnering with an agency like The Word Association. We have a number of exciting projects to work on this year and into next, which is a great position to be in, but we rarely have the time to dwell on what we’ve achieved. For us, it’s about improving what we do and helping our clients do the same.”
The Word Association www.thewordassociation.biz
Mark Alexander Golf Photography www.markalexandergolfphotography.com