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Media and pop culture have historically had a reciprocal relationship, with one informing the other; media shapes cultural and behavioral trends, which in turn reinforce the zeitgeist of the time.
From hieroglyphics to books, and radio to TV, how people receive, share, and digest information has had a tremendous impact on society. Memes combine the stylistic comedy of old cartoon-like images and commentary with the virality of the digital age, which allows them to not only take over the internet, but people’s lives. Memes themselves, and naturally meme accounts, have evolved since they began sweeping social media around 2010.
Today, accounts with cult followings, like @betches or @fuckjerry, have taken their shareability and immense audience and leveraged that into full-fledged companies. However, this trajectory is not only reserved for broad accounts, niche ones—like PGA Memes—also have the chance to blow up if led by experienced sales and marketing executives like the company’s founder Travis Miller.
What started out as an attempt to shake up the stereotypically stuffy perception of golf and golf culture—while simultaneously creating a community for players, fans, and viewers—turned into a comedic meme account that boasts nearly 770K followers.
As an avid golfer, Miller wanted to bring relatability and much-needed humor to the space, to attract golfers and non-golfers alike. The account took a sport that was previously reserved for country clubs and PGA elite players and their fans, and got it in front of a whole new audience through relatable, satirical, and shareable posts. With over 20 million impressions per week, it’s safe to say that Miller’s comedic golf-related content carved out a space all its own.
Although a large Instagram following, which includes pro golfers and celebrities, is something many covet—and an impressive feat—Miller had bigger plans.
Thanks to his big dreams and leadership, PGA Memes has turned into a full-on media company thanks to Miller’s ability to see the big picture and capitalize on an opportunity, when all eyes were on the account. While he is still involved with the content side of the business, today his main focus is on building out and developing an even more extensive media offering via the platform.
The brand offers ad campaigns, launch strategies, growth tactics, and more, through the PGA Memes’ various brands: Hack Patrol, Hissalot, and Fore the Babes. The pivot is going so well that even the PGA Tour—which initially inspired the account name—and European Tour turned to the account to promote their tournaments and execute event activations with professional players.
However, for Miller it’s not all about new followers and brand deals. PGA Memes recently launched a charity tournament series, PGA Memes Challenge, which raised over $100K to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Talk about a good game.
PGA Memes has experienced significant growth, especially during the last year and a half, but even so Miller has grand plans for the future. He is working on getting into TV content, growing Shank Happens with PGA Memes—the brand’s podcast, and offering new branded merchandise online.
Although the account started out as a fun hobby, it has not lost its initial feel or goal in spite of its popularity, and that authenticity is exactly what continues to draw people in.