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Mary Beth Childs

  • 2007
Mary Beth Childs

The New Jersey State Golf Association and the New Jersey Section of the PGA honored Mary Beth Childs, the inspiration behind the relationship between Lincoln Mercury and golf in New Jersey, with the 2007 Distinguished Service Award.

Childs, who retired after 26 years with Lincoln Mercury, served as events and sponsorship manager for Tri-State Lincoln Mercury Dealers. Through her initiative and continuing support, Lincoln Mercury provided significant sponsorship backing to the NISGA and the NJPGA for over 20 years.

Lincoln Mercury was the co-title sponsor of the NJSGA Open Championship and title sponsor of the New Jersey PGA Section Championship.

"Sponsors have come and gone on the golf scene in New Jersey over the past 10 years," noted Jeff Liebler, a past president of the NJSGA, "but the one constant has been Lincoln, thanks to Mary Beth Childs' support. New tournaments have been created and existing ones have continued to prosper for both the NJSGA and NJPGA because of her promotion. She is the patron saint of golf in New Jersey."

Childs recalls that she approached the NJPGA about to discuss a connection with Lincoln should the PGA's relationship with Cadillac, Lincoln's competitor, change. Soon thereafter, Cadillac dropped its sponsorship and Lincoln picked it up.

"After our relationship with the New Jersey PGA began," Childs noted, "we developed a relationship with the State Golf Association, and a lot of that was due to Jeff Liebler."

What attracted Childs and her company to the golf community?

"The demographics of golfers is certainly something that we were interested in, she says. "We were interested in reaching consumers in the country club set and were able to reach them in kind of an unassuming atmosphere. It's not like a customer walking into a dealership. It's a more subtle way of marketing and advertising to key consumers."

Childs points out that the golf sponsorships have demonstrated good value.

"We wouldn't keep doing them if they weren't successful, she stresses. "As budgets have grown tighter through the years, we've had to cut some things here and there, but we've continued to grow our relationship with golf because we feel that it works."

"I also feel that you need to build on a sponsorship through the years, and the longer you do something, the better it becomes for you. It's been a great group of people to work with. I love the game of golf, and I think it's a huge networking and business opportunity."

Childs said she was "extremely shocked" to learn of her selection to receive the Distinguished Service Award.

"I'm obviously very excited about it but very, very surprised, she says. "Never in a thousand years did I even think that I would be considered. I was very, very honored."

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