Denver Airport Mini Golf Activation

The Authentic Mini Golf & Putt Putt Experience

Get A Customized Golf Experience Estimate Here!

Denver International Airport Miniature Golf Activation June of 2017


Denver International Airport which has the airport code letters of DIA is the 6th busiest airport in the continental United States with over 58 million passengers in 2016. This figure also ranks DIA as the 18th busiest airport in the world. DIA also ranks 4th in the continental United States for weather delays with the main weather delays being snowstorms, thunderstorms, hail & tornadoes. At 33,531 acres, DIA is the largest airport in the United States by surface area and the 2nd largest in the world. As a point of reference, the four (4) busiest domestic airports of Hartsfield-Jackson for Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International and Dallas Fort Worth can together easily fit within DIA’s grounds. DIA sits 23 miles from the center of Denver and it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 60 minutes via car to reach.

In 2016, The Transportation Security Authority issued expanded guidelines to air travelers in 2016 to arrive two (2) hours ahead of one’s flight for domestic flights and three (3) hours ahead of one’s flight for international flights.

Over the course of 1 full day on the center plaza at the headquarters of ESPN in Bristol, CT, staff, athletes and recognizable sports anchors competing on what became to be called the ESPN mini golf challenge. Tee times started at 8:00 AM and did not conclude until 8:00 PM that night with the final foursome playing as the sun went down.

ESPN besides using this as an employee engagement also used the mini golf rental as a fundraising activity for The Jimmy V Foundation during the week of the ESPYS.

The Challenge

Coupled with the statistics listed above, Denver International Airport wanted to provide an engaging activity for initially a very broad group. This broad group was further classified as delayed airport travelers, individuals that were picking up travelers, all airport staff including incoming & outbound flight crews as well as residents of the greater Denver metropolitan area for the month of June. DIA partnered with WOW Entertainment who it turn designed a custom branded eighteen (18) hole miniature golf course that resided on the Open Air Plaza between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Hotel.

Among the objectives of the course design was for it to be engaging at each hole, challenging & entertaining with numerous brandable elements. Additionally, over the course of the 30 days of June, DIA was seeking a participation rate of 5,000 guests.

The Process

WOW Entertainment performed a series of site inspections to review the space allocated in the Open Air Plaza. During these site inspections, preliminary schematics were created taking into account the current flow of pedestrian traffic between the Jeppesen Terminal & the Westin Hotel as well as the recently opened University of Colorado A Line which runs from downtown Denver departing from the famous Union Station to immediately below the Open Air Plaza. Additional phone conferences were held with DIA staff regarding several logistical issues. An example of just one of these logistical issues included unlike a standard miniature golf rental activation, WOW Entertainment had to take into account security issues involving potential unattended baggage on the course when designing the course and the overall operation of the miniature golf course activation. Additional discussions were held regarding the specific brandable elements of the miniature golf course and their permanent installation during the activation as well other brandable elements being removed at the end of each day’s operation and placed back on the course the next day.

The Solution

WOW Entertainment designed a custom eighteen (18) hole miniature golf course activation where no two (2) holes were alike. WOW Entertainment added on certain holes just water where other holes had water with rocks in a different part of the hole. There were holes with elevation, other holes where the participants had to putt through tunnels and holes with terrain variations which would cause the participant to read the hole a certain way.

The brandable elements of the course included miniature golf obstacles that were painted to the exact color requirements of DIA. These included the well know Loop de Loop, Steel Bridge, Ant Hill and a Ramp with an exit chute. The final hole on the course was the Skeeball hole which was fully branded and acted as the hole where the balls were captured and concluded play for the participants.

The course had regulation & brandable numbered flags on golf course flag poles indicating each hole. These numbered flags directed participants to the next hole and were placed at the start of each hole; not inside the cup which is typically done for safety reasons.

A putt putt tent was branded and erected for the storage of the different color golf balls & different color golf clubs. This tent also included a staff member at all times as well as a safe to hold the different forms of identification that was required in order to obtain a golf ball & golf club. At the conclusion of play, the golf club was to be returned in order to receive the form of identification back.

Next to the tent a leaderboard was created to track the standings on a daily basis for each airport department. This leaderboard became a source of friendly competition for each department which encouraged participation.

Besides the staff member in the tent at all times, another staff member was assigned to the course. The responsibilities for this staff member was to engage with the participants, assist in moving luggage to the next section of the course and to answer any questions about the course itself.

WOW Entertainment with DIA also planned a series of events during the month long activation including a hole in one (1) challenge, a music night and another event with a variety of multi talents present. Additionally, the Canine Airport Therapy Squad made periodic visits throughout the activation period.

The Results

  • Participation far exceeded the objective of DIA with 6,527 participants during the month long activation representing 31% above the expected goal.
  • DIA experienced an increase of 8% of all Facebook and Twitter Posts in the month of June compared to the previous month.
  • Over 4,000 combined likes across all social media platforms.
  • Over 1,200 combined engagements across all social media platforms.

What was learned

Both DIA and WOW Entertainment took away from the one (1) month activation the following in each area:

  • That each hole is a branding & potential sponsorship opportunity. Among the options for each hole were the tee mat to start each hole, the numbered flag, the individual obstacle on each hole and the green course itself.
  • The registration tent became the beacon to draw in those passing by as well as for those to see from inside the terminal. The tent clearly indicated what the activation was for those to wander over & investigate further.
  • The registration tent has to be secured greater than what was previously done. While under most circumstances what was used to secure the tent was sufficient, DIA with its extreme weather conditions include extraordinary cross winds caused at times the tent to be susceptible and taken down very quickly.
  • Other brandable & sponsorship opportunities during the activation include pencils, the scorecards and the golf balls themselves.
  • It is extremely important that each miniature golf activiation has an avenue in place in which to dispense clubs, balls, scorecards, etc as well as having an avenue in which to have them returned. In this case, the form of identification & showing the individual that their identification was going into a secure safe worked extremely well.
  • The last hole must be a hole where the ball is captured and does not allow for additional play.
  • That having staff of two (2) is satisfactory. One (1) staff member to be present in the tent and one (1) staff member monitoring the course.
  • The hole in one (1) challenge with the right prize or prizes can be extremely successful in increasing participation at certain times & days of the week.
  • While the Leaderboard was an excellent addition to the activation, there will be future consideration for a digital leaderboard.

Image Gallery

(Click on images below to view large versions)