Michelle DeLancy Changing the Game at The Galleri Classic

Q1: What in your marketing and sponsorship background helped lead you to ultimately specialize in the sports and entertainment industry, golf tournaments specifically?

I grew up in Seattle and was into sports from a young age. I attended Washington State University where I completed my degree in PR, and was a member of the crew team. This is where I discovered my passion for sports and events, leading me to intern at a summer festival called Seafair in Seattle. I eventually landed a full-time job at a major medical center, which was one of the event sponsors. Starting as a coordinator for fundraising events, I worked my way up in their marketing department overseeing professional sports team partnerships, community partnerships, and events. Later on, I also oversaw the Boeing Classic, a PGA TOUR Champions event that the medical center hosted and benefited from. For 13 years, I was the Executive Director of the Boeing Classic, and in my 17 years with the organization, I gained valuable experiences and it opened many doors to a great network.

Throughout my career, I worked with athletes and organizations on sports sponsorship and brand levels, and I maintained those relationships over the years. In the summer of 2022, I joined Wasserman Media, Sports and Events Group and moved to Rancho Mirage with my dog Baxter to develop a new PGA TOUR Champions tournament in the Coachella Valley named the Galleri Classic. As the Executive Director of the event my responsibilities included relationship building in the local community, selecting charities to benefit from the event, marketing and selling tickets. This past March, we held the second annual Galleri Classic. The Coachella Valley community has been very welcoming and excited about the event. 


Q2: What were some challenges you faced in the beginning of this work and how did you overcome them?   

The Challenge here in the Rancho Mirage area was starting a new PGA TOUR Champions event after a very successful 51-year LPGA major event on the same historic golf course at Mission Hills Country Club. After Chevron chose to move the LPGA event to Houston, a new the PGA TOUR Champions chose Rancho Mirage as the perfect spot to hold their new event.

Educating the community about the PGA TOUR Champions, the specifics of the tournament and the details of how they could get involved has been a great opportunity.  We engaged with many people including charities, businesses, and community leaders and the event has been very well received.  The professional golfers loved being back in the Coachella Valley.


Q3: Tell us about your decision to accept the role of Tournament Director of the Galleri Classic, one highlighting men in the golf legends arena? 

I have been fortunate to be a part of various events, partnerships, and teams throughout my career. One of the highlights of my career was collaborating with the PGA TOUR Champions to establish the Boeing Classic in Seattle. I was excited to replicate this experience in the Coachella Valley with many of the same professional golfers who have become my friends, as well as with the PGA TOUR staff. Working alongside the great team at Wasserman made this opportunity even more exciting. We were able to showcase our title sponsor, Galleri, an early multi-cancer detection test, while also giving back to local cancer charities. This made the decision easy for me.

Q4: Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated as a leader of these high-profile events? 

I am passionate about my work and the people I work with. The event I am organizing is highly anticipated and many are thrilled to participate, whether as players in the Pro-Am or as competitors in the professional competition. With over 500 volunteers assisting us, we work hard to ensure that every aspect of the event is meticulously planned and executed, creating unforgettable experiences during tournament week. Leading such a great team is easy and keeps me motivated. 

Q5: What was the highlight of this year's Galleri Classic tournament, the 2nd annual event?

The main attraction of the event is for the fans and community to participate by playing in the Pro-Am, volunteering their time, or buying tickets to watch the professionals compete. It's an exciting opportunity for people to be a part of the action. Sponsors, charities, businesses, and community members eagerly anticipate the event, making it a highlight for many.


Q6: Do you play golf?

I do, I enjoy getting out to play many courses in the area and playing with a variety of people at many levels. It’s a great way to connect with people.

Q7: What trends are you noticing in golf wear, specifically women's golf fashion?

Golf fashion has evolved, and gone are the days of the 'boring' polo shirts for women. Take a quick look at any social media platform and you'll find a world of female golfers offering pro tips on the game while showcasing a variety of golf wear brands. Golf fashion has come a long way, with a wide range of brands, styles, fabrics, colors, and patterns available for all women golfers. Amy Sport™ which is a local brand is definitely one to consider! 


Q8: What innovations or changes do you foresee in the future of golf tournaments? What role do you see technology playing in the future of golf organization?  

"Golf remained relatively constant for a long time, until COVID-19, when it became more popular on various levels and we’ve seen significant changes in the past couple of years. There have been advancements in technology for equipment and apps, as well as changes in course setup and different ways to enjoy golf that are all contributing to growth of the game. We are constantly observing the evolving landscape, implementing best practices, and taking into account what people want to see and experience as we organize the tournament each year." 


Q9: Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom in general for women in leadership roles? 

My takeaways for women in leadership roles is surrounding ourselves with great team members to be able to grow with, lift up and learn from.  It is important that I find joy each day that helps in how we make decisions and how we lead people.


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