How NBC Sports’ Nick Casanova made American Century Golf Championship a Success with a Master Stroke

Nick Casanova – the Director of Programming, Planning, and Scheduling at NBC Sports – was tasked to track the social performance of his company’s annual event despite little experience; using Keyhole, Nick found success across multiple KPIs

NBC Sports is part of NBCUniversal, a household name in the world of entertainment, broadcasting and production marketing. Headquartered in Manhattan, NBCUniversal runs a vast entertainment and news television network and has also established various internet-based businesses and world-renowned theme parks. 

What is the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament? 

Keyhole - Case Study - Automated Hashtag Performance, Social Media Account Tracking, and Proving ROI - American Century Championship - Nick Headshot

The American Century Championship takes place every July at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe. Big time celebrities like Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan & Justin Timberlake have teed it up at the event in the past.

Less Support and More Responsibility 

The NBC Sports programming and scheduling team was put in charge of managing the American Century Golf Tournament, in addition to their daily tasks.

“This event takes place during a busy part of our year, as a result, people are asked to assume tasks that may not be in their day to day job description.  Over the years, American Century, our title sponsor, was outsourcing a group to track all the social buzz around the event.  In 2017, they asked if we would be able to bring the job in house.”

With other departments tied up, the responsibilities piled up and the programming team was forced to track hashtags and keywords for them despite not having the proper experience or background. 

Manually Tracking Hashtags and Keywords – A Difficult Task

“So, we had our interns just following the hashtag and trying to see what the chatter around the event was like. And we mostly focused on what we were getting from our handles,” said Nick.

The manual tracking of hashtags and keywords is a tedious and obsolete process. But, this wasn’t the only challenge NBCUniversal was faced with while tracking and tracing details to share with their main sponsor, American Century.

Tracking down thousands of impressions and hundreds of keywords was one thing, but analyzing the data to take away tangible, actionable insights was an even bigger challenge. 

Not long after, Nick and his team realized that they wouldn’t be able to offer any in-depth social analytics or social media insights to their sponsors if they continued manually tracking everything.

“This raw and unstructured data wasn’t that handy to impress. This half-cooked bacon needed that final touch to become well-structured and easy to analyze.”

And that’s where Keyhole came in.

A Social Media Analytics Tool Tracking Hashtags and Keywords 

NBCUniversal provides seminars that their employees can attend to learn about things outside of their business. It was in one of these seminars that Nick was first introduced to the digital world of Keyhole. 

Nick wasn’t satisfied with the insights coming from manually tracking the conversation on social media. Keyhole’s advanced functionality and easy-to-use interface was the ultimate answer to his prayers.       

One Quick and Easy Solution: Keyhole

Nick and his team got a powerful social media analytics tool in the shape of Keyhole.

This also helped the team discover what influencers and celebrities were already talking about the event. 

“We didn’t just use it for the keyword impressions we usually have. We were tracking our handle, tracking the hashtags, and then, any other generic keyword that could be related to the event.”

Keyhole was a one stop shop for all of their pain points, addressing account tracking and hashtag tracking in one easy dashboard.

Establishing a Brand Name and proving ROI to Chief Sponsor

For some time, the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, was just being referred to as a ‘Celebrity Golf’ event – completely overlooking the chief sponsor of the event, American Century. 

“We’ve seen almost a 50% drop in people talking about the event just as ‘Celebrity Golf’, and they are more using the actual event name.”

Now, Nick can confidently tell their sponsors that NBCUniversal has increased impressions for the event while also decreasing the number of people who are talking about the event generically. 

Proving ROI and showing that the event has been beneficial for American Century. 

Reflecting on Keyhole and the results he achieved, Nick said: “The tool is super easy to use, and it just made our lives easier. I think what we’ve been able to provide to American Century is more reliable than what we were doing manually. With Keyhole, we have credible numbers that we’re able to share and create stories to help us strengthen the relationship that we have with them. And hopefully, extend our partnership with them way into the future.”


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free and search your brand.

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