My Personal Journey: Helping to Bring the Solheim Cup to Inverness Club in Toledo

Ashleigh Hotz - Senior Graphic Designer


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In February 2016, the President of our company, Mark Frasco, told me that my team and I had a great opportunity ahead of us. We were going to design THE WINNING proposal to bring a major international golf championship to the region for our client, Inverness Club. That was no small statement, I have personally managed this marketing account for over 2-years and have become quite fond of them. I was inspired, hopeful, and took it as a personal challenge. And so, the journey began.

To spare you all the microscopic details, just imagine: You are watching a time-lapse video of the entire project from start to finish. In this video, you see the gathering of highly respected people every week, you see ideas scratched on our dry erase boards filling it to the ends, you see conceptual presentations for flow of content and layout, you see vendors coming in and out, you see us in the office in the late hours of the night, you see videos being produced, edited, shown, edited again, graphics laid out, and an entire presentation book come to reality. You can feel the emotional pull of the project in our blood, sweat, and tears. Now you’re smiling, as you see our fatigued yet happy and proud little faces when we finally finished.

It’s exhausting just to think about all that went into this.

How did we get it all done? By setting one small goal at a time. Creating the content and layout of each element aligned to that goal. “If I could just get this section of the book done by our next meeting… we just need to have these videos produced by… if we could get the book in hand for…” Down to every detail, and residing over every sleepless night, this was the way we worked over the 3-month timespan we had to put this all together.

May 24, 2016 – this was THE day, the culmination of all our hard work and preparation. The presentation was to the LPGA but done entirely for our community and region. There were big name speakers, community leaders, ‘USA’ chanting, a bag pipe, and even fighter jets (yes, really!). I have never been so proud of my team, my boss, and the leadership at Inverness Club. That day was the epitome of #nailedit.

Skip ahead to October 26, 2016 (by the way, my sixth anniversary with COACT). I got a call from Mark, who was in Miami on business. It sounded like this…

Mark: “How are you?”

Ash: “Good, you?”

Mark: “What are you doing right now?”

Ash: “I’m in a meeting”

Mark: “We got it. Our bid won! We’ve been selected to host the 2021 Solheim Cup”

Ash: “What!!!?? Are you serious!” (jumping up and down, screaming the news to the team) “We won the Soheim Cup! We won the Solheim Cup!”

I tell you all this so you can understand the heart and dedication of COACT, our President Mark Frasco, and our marketing department in putting together the most robust, beautiful and compelling proposal to bring the 2021 Solheim Cup to Inverness Club.  We were all happily consumed by this project, an immensely important effort for our client and community. And this dedication didn’t stop there, it radiated from all those involved on the committee and from the community. This was truly a group effort and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Mark had the vision, he said we would do it, and he was right all along. Toledo, Ohio will never be the same for it. I will never be the same for it. I’ve never felt more strongly about our city, and #ItMattersWhereYouMakeIt has never been more accurate.

Here’s a brief rundown of our 2021 Solheim Cup Bid:

Proposal Book
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Structurally our proposal document was an 8.5×11, 250 page, special ordered green canvas hard cover, interior wire-o bound, divided into 8 main tabbed sections, with tabbed appendices in the back. Conceptually, our book dove deep into Inverness Club history and current state, it gave an overview of the great city of Toledo and included our regional assets and longstanding history with the LPGA. Maybe more importantly, it provided our vision for the 2021 Solheim Cup – touting the generous financial contributions from many businesses in our region, our idea of a Solheim Cup fan experience, and all the amenities that we have to offer for both fans and players alike, while visiting Inverness and region.

Proposal Book (Digital Presentation)
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We developed not only a classic, hard-cover printed version of our book, but also a digital, interactive copy that could be taken on the go. With a navigable table of contents, embedded videos and linked content, our designer Ryan Miller re-designed the contents of our proposal into a Samsung tablet that could be viewed anywhere without an internet connection. The loaded tablet was held by a custom made, Brompton leather case, embossed with the name of our proposal document. This case not only held the tablet, but also provided our esteemed guests a place to take notes.

Video
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Video… where do I begin. Before any other video took place, our videographer, Christian Pokrywka, went out on the Inverness golf course and captured drone footage of all 18 holes. He then paired the footage with a voice over which described the holes in detail. Seven more videos were produced for our final bid presentation [stay tuned, we will be releasing them soon!]. We interviewed many interesting people, including two Hall of Fame players, such as the 1954 LPGA Four-Ball Inverness Invitational winner Betsy Rawls and past Solheim team member and Captain Nancy Lopez; along with ten other interviews with prominent business leaders. Those interviews were paired with video footage that captured the tone of our thriving community. My personal favorite video from this collection was our take on what it would be like to host the 2021 Solheim Cup at Inverness, and I could describe it but it’s better to experience for yourself.

Glass Piece
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Being that the Solheim Cup is made of glass [technically crystal] we knew that we had to include some representation of Toledo’s heritage as ‘The Glass City.’ Our designer, Ryan Miller, worked closely with local glass artist Adam Goldberg and his studio Gathered Glass in downtown Toledo to craft his concept of a one of a kind thank you gift for each of the LPGA committee members. Adam and his studio went above and beyond to make our design a reality and produced a truly elegant and unique piece that any golfer would love to show off on their mantle or desk.

November 9, 2016 – The day the 2021 Solheim Cup was officially announced to the community will be a day I will never forget. We celebrated, all of us – our entire COACT family together with the media, club membership, local business leaders, and dignitaries. Judd Silverman, the Marathon Classic tournament director and Solheim Cup committee member, gave a Grammy-like acceptance speech, sharing his kind remarks about the work COACT did to help bring the Solheim Cup to Inverness Club.  [Check out the video!]. We didn’t do it for the recognition, but it fills my heart to know that we’ve done something that is much bigger than ourselves, something that will positively impact our region and all who live and work here, for years to come.

Here’s a glass raised – cheers to the 2021 Solheim Cup at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio!

Questions or comments? Please contact Ashleigh Hotz at ahotz@teamCOACT.com