Tina Barnes-Budd – Her Story
A former boss and mentor once said “if you allow Tina to spread her wings, she will help your brand awareness grow like you’ve never seen before through her creativity and drive for success”.
Tina has been in the social media / marketing / communications business for the past 25 years. Her desire to help promote people and brands have led her to a career full of opportunities that have allowed her to travel the world and work with some of the biggest athletes and brands.
Tina’s first love in the creative arena was dance. Her love affair with dance was so great that she knew at an early age that she wanted to be a Broadway dancer when she grew up. But… her mom thought differently, knowing that the lifespan of a professional dancer was short. Tina attended Louisiana Tech University where she developed a curriculum of business administration/marketing studies while performing in the school’s musical stage productions, and later becoming their choreographer throughout her college career. Everyone was happy, even Mom.
Once out in the “real world”, Tina began her career with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) as a coordinator in the marketing and promotions department. Tina began working with the Tour’s marketing partners and title sponsors and quickly became recognized as someone who could help corporate brands maximize their investment in the sport through creative strategy and implementation. After five years with the LPGA, Tina was recruited by a former boss to bring her marketing talents to a newly formed agency that focused on major brands and their sports sponsorships. While the agency was bought and sold on many occasions over the next 10 years (think bigger fish eating the smaller fish), Tina grasped every opportunity to learn and grow her skills while creatively choreographing sports sponsorships and marketing programs along the way. She worked with corporate sponsors including Bausch & Lomb (Ray Ban), Quaker Oats, NASCAR sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Valvoline, Exide Batteries, The Family Channel, Aetna US Healthcare, Nestle, Royal Caribbean, SmithKline Beecham and United Airlines as well as NASCAR race teams including Roush Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Tina also worked with the US Postal Pro Cycling Team during four of their Tour de France wins.
After 10 years of agency life, the LPGA presented an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. It was a chance for her to go back to her first professional love affair and to a place she was very passionate about as women’s sports were constantly battling the fight for bigger sponsors, purses and stages. Tina was ready for the fight as she returned to help market and promote the Tour. Tina reprised her role in working with the Tour’s sponsors that included the likes of Rolex, Anheuser Busch, DSW, ADT, Choice Hotels, Schick, MasterCard, Smuckers and Johnson & Johnson.
Within a few years, Tina was promoted to Senior Director of Marketing where she oversaw the Tour’s advertising and promotional campaigns and brand consistency across the 32 events on the LPGA schedule. In 2008, the entire dynamic of the LPGA’s marketing and promotional opportunities changed for the better with the introduction of social media for businesses. Tina was immediately excited about the opportunity for many reasons. First, social media was basically “free”. With a small marketing budget, this was music to her ears. Second, the LPGA could push out all the goodness the Tour had to offer, and not have to rely solely on journalists and publications to promote the association and their athletes. The athletes were more than just great golfers, they all had their own individual stories that could be showcased without any road blocks. This, in turn, would hopefully gain more followers of the Tour by creating a connection between the players and the fans and in return, the fans would become the Tour’s biggest advocates. More eyeballs would equal higher purses.
Over the next five years, Tina continued running the traditional marketing side for the LPGA as well as carving out a small percentage of her day to devote to the LPGA’s social media. The four corners of the building were not convinced that social media warranted full-time attention until 2013 when the lightbulb finally went off and the LPGA leadership decided to allow Tina to oversee a social media department separate from the marketing umbrella of the LPGA. By moving the social media program under the communications arm, the team was able to push out a consistent message across all platforms. At the same time, Tina worked with the LPGA pros to grow their individual brands as well as utilize their followings to help promote the LPGA as a whole.
Over the next seven years, Tina worked with the LPGA’s media, marketing partners and tournament business affairs teams to ensure the players, corporate partners and title sponsors were receiving maximum exposure all while staying consistent with the LPGA brand. By the end of 2019, over 2.3 million fans followed the LPGA on its social channels and the Tour was playing for bigger purses and on bigger stages. Simply put, the LPGA’s social media platforms were bringing more eyeballs to the Tour than ever before.
Tina left the LPGA at the end of 2019 after 16 years. She is now ready to take on new opportunities to help both individuals and brands grow in both their awareness and sales. Tina is looking forward to continuing to dance through social media’s daily changes and choreograph programs through strategy, implementation and analysis – all with her creative flare.