2015Tournament Planner Our 18 point planner is designed to : Avoid obstacles to success Survive a Mulligan economy Address tournament challenges Provide tournament tips to help organize, standardize and market your event We take care of the work and worry details and give you the opportunity to elevate the quality of your event. These suggestions are appropriate for every budget and target market. Take a look and see how you can set your event apart. Table of Contents Topic Title Page Letter from the President 3 Tip #1 Plan with the end in mind 4 Tip #2 Work with the golf course 5, 6 Tip #3 Committees 7 Tip #4 The course and filling the field 8 Tip #5 Save the date, mailers, registration 9 Tip #6 Develop a Budget 10-12 Tip #7 Sponsorships 13, 14 Tip #8 Fundraising 15, 16 Tip #9 Planning Packages Tip #10 Hole in One 18, 19 Tip #11 Golfer Gifts 20, 21 Tip #12 Tournament Signage 22, 23 Tip #13 Volunteers 24-27 Tip #14 Player Awards 28 Tip #15 Sponsor Awards 29 Tip #16 Post Tournament 30,31 Tip #17 Purchase vs. Donate 32 Tip #18 Concluding Thoughts 33 Above Par Staff 34 Contact Information 17 A Message from the President To our tournament clients, colleagues and friends: It is privilege to work with the many diverse events in the golf industry. We enjoy learning about your goals and challenges and hope in a small way we were able to contribute to the success of your event. Our company strives to be a reliable source of technique and information to help you make wise choices for your organization. Our point of difference is to use our knowledge and help you to achieve extraordinary goals. Well run tournaments involve a thousand details. Our goal is to take care of the work and worry and give you the opportunity to elevate the quality of your event. This document represents a collection of facts and observations, particularly those affecting events in times of economic stress. The suggestions are appropriate to every budget and target market. As always, our staff stands ready to work with you on specific questions or problems, provide options, and examine how to set your event apart. Stan Fischer, President Begin with the end in mind. Golfers remember your event by their experience. Choose the right course, the right month, and the right day. The most appropriate solutions for your event are always found in analyzing the demographics. What experience do you want your golfers to have? Is your event for fun, fundraising, or corporate related? Answering these questions will determine when, where, why and how much. A great event is not necessarily determined by the price. Treating your golfers and sponsors like rock stars insure participation year after year. Consider small things you can do and plan them as part of the day’s activities. Provide Cart Decals identifying major sponsors Provide a courtesy snack cart on the course Meet and greet each player, thank them for participating Speed up play; be respectful of the players’ time Work with the golf course. It is in their best interest to make sure you have a successful event. The current economic climate takes a toll on everyone’s resources. The golf property experiences the same resource issues your tournament does. Be respectful of their personnel. Be clear about what they need to provide. Get the details in writing—do not leave it to memory. Things they will ask you: Select a date—secure the date with a deposit. (Event date is not always secured unless there is a deposit.) Estimate the number of players (Underestimate! You can always add, but not always reduce.) Clarify the maximum number of golfers the course can accommodate with players, carts, food and beverage. Review the cancellation policy/rain check policy Our experience indicates it is less expensive to host the event once a date is booked, rather than cancel the event. The course will have a substantial fee for cancellation. A tournament is a revenue stream for the property. Cancellation of your event impairs the revenue commitment for the course. Additional questions from the fine print: Will the course be conducting any major maintenance prior to the tournament (aerifying or over seeding)? Do not host your event directly after one of these procedures. What is the latest date to guarantee the number of players? What if participants do not show? Does the event still have to pay for them? Is there a charge to use extra golf carts for volunteers? Are there any other events on the course the same time as ours? Committee Members are Essential If you have personally chaired a tournament, you know the work involved. Having a core group of committee members ensures a successful outing for years to come. There are potential members everywhere, but a few key points are essential: You need people you can trust You need people who can perform under pressure You need people that are unwavering in dependability Tips for developing a successful committee: Be selective, not every applicant is a committee member. Volunteer yes, committee no. Choose your committee because of their experience with charitable organizations or direct involvement in the business community. Very few tournaments have strictly “administrative” positions. Make it clear everyone contributes with donations and sponsors. Be respectful of their time. Service is never convenient. Estimate the hours of service expected of the committee. The rule of thumb: monthly meetings for 6 months, semi-monthly meetings for 2 months, weekly meetings for 6 weeks, full participation all day on tournament day. Schedule your meeting in advance with an agenda. Not all meetings require every committee member. All committee members must be active contributors. Course Selection and Filling the Field After determining the purpose of the event, consider the venue. What is a reasonable distance to travel to participate in your event? Make sure the venue is convenient. Most golfers love the opportunity to play at a private club. Most private clubs are closed to members on Monday and will host public golf events that day. Does the entry fee take into consideration the financial resources of the target market? The best rates are offered Monday through Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days for a golf course and the fees will be higher those days. Course rates are highest during months that offer the best weather and lower during the months that offer less desirable weather. Hot Tip: The best value is found in the “shoulder season” or the time between the peak and off season when weather is less predictable and activity at the course slow. Save the Date, Mailers & Registration “Save the Date” cards are a tournament standard. Preferences vary for time to mail—6 months is standard with a reminder at three months to participate in your event. Make sure the venue is convenient. First impressions mean a lot, especially when it comes to branding your event. When you send printed invitations, it is more personal and you are giving the message of exclusivity. This is great treatment for major, and returning sponsors. It makes them feel invited, and that their presence is special. You would not send an email invitation for a wedding because it is a reflection of the level of personal touch. Make your sponsors feel the same way. If using Email invitations or reminders, they must be personal, have some style and feel inviting. No one likes a mass mail invitation. On-line or web registration is expected Offer online registration. 93% of players and sponsors surveyed in 2009 said they expect to register and pay online for a fundraising golf event. This can be as simple as attaching a Pay Pal account to your existing website. Make it easy for those wanting to participate. Statistical Tip: 31% of tournaments plan in 6 months 31% of tournaments plan in 9 months Develop a Budget The Basics Treat your event like a business. Every expense has the potential to be a revenue stream. Sponsorships are they key to raising money for your cause. Keep track of all income and expenses. Financial record keeping should be assigned to one person reporting to the tournament director. A simple budget can be tracked with a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can be designed to incorporate player and handicaps as well. Your budget may have a different layout, but should include the same categories. Take a look at our easy to use model (Next Page) Tournament Tip: Start with the budget, add what you know as you go. An updated budget report should be an element of each committee meeting. Comparative Analysis Expense Administrative Postage/Shipping Mailing Committee/Volunteer Apprec. Meeting Expenses Golf Course Green/Cart Fees Food & Beverage Gratuities Service Fees (CC Process) Course Beverages Special Food/Beverage Promotion Sponsor/Award Photographer Photos/Teams Player Awards Special Awards Insurances Million Dollar Shootout Hole in One Putting Contest Arrival Gifts Golf Balls Arrival Gift #1 Arrival Gift #2 Shirts Signage Sponsor Signs Banners Pin Flags TOTAL EXPENSE TOTAL REVENUE NET PROCEEDS Actual Budget Variance Sponsorships Sponsors are the key to financial success of an event. Selling player spots cover expenses, however, sponsorships are your profit. In order to sell sponsorships, you must give thought to the reasons a company would contribute or participate in your event and what they gain in return. Hot Tip: When compiling a list of available sponsorships, be sure to include several price points. In a struggling economy, a sponsor might need an alternative at a lower price. Example: If a sponsor has always sponsored shirts, in an ailing economy they may opt to sponsor golf carts or lunch. It is critical these options be available. Companies choose to participate in your event because: They have a relationship with the event or key participant. (#1 reason– 58% in 2009 survey) To give back to the local community To entertain clients To acquire more business To gain company/product exposure To meet prospects Tournament Tip: It is the tournament’s responsibility to show the sponsors how they will benefit from supporting your event. Be specific and remember every time and place the sponsor name is seen, it creates a “marketing impression”. The number of impressions or repeat impressions (such as a gift with repetitive use) is key for marketing value. Sponsorship Opportunities and Potential Revenue Always bear in mind the lifetime value of a sponsor. A satisfied sponsor will stay with a tournament for many years if they are treated properly and well represented. Name Cost Sell Profit Hole in One $400 $1000 $600 Sell each hole in one @ $250 Each Shoot Out $150 $500 $350 $1M shootout Golf Cart $288 $1500 $1212 Purchase 72 sponsor cart clings @ $4 each Pin Flag $360 $1500 $1140 Purchase 18 custom pin flags with logo (average cost) Beverage Cart $0 $500 $500 Cost varies with donated vs. purchased beverages Hole Sponsors $25 $250 $225 Purchase sponsor sign $25 Driving Range $25 $500 $475 Purchase sponsor sign $25 Putting Green $25 $500 $475 Purchase sponsor sign $25 Towel (Arrival Gift) $1152 $2500 $1348 Purchase high value towel @ $8 each Glove (Arrival Gift) $1296 $2000 $704 Purchase cabretta leather glove @ $9 each Golf Ball (Arrival Gift) $648 $1500 $852 Purchase logo golf ball @ $4.50/sleeve Shirt Sponsor $2880 $4000 $1120 Purchase logo shirt @ $20 each Cap Sponsor $1008 $1500 $492 Purchase logo cap @ $7 each ** Calculations assumes playing field of 144 players Fundraising Programs Hot Tip: The highest revenue generating tournaments always combine fundraising activities into one purchase. They avoid the “nickel and diming”. Collect the maximum revenue possible on the front end. There are many programs to give your fundraising a jumpstart. The heart of many successful programs include the Super Ticket Scratcher Card The front of the ticket can be blank or customized to advertise your event or sponsors. Make the price of the ticket below the value of the components. The more items included with the ticket, the higher the face value. Offer items on the Super Ticket that cannot be purchased elsewhere in the event, such as a special raffle prize or course contests. The back of the scratcher card is a virtual game of golf everyone loves to play. A score is tallied after the golfer scratches a medallion for each hole. You can develop your own prize or have one included with one of our Super Ticket packages. Take advantage of the craze for the game of poker and incorporate our simple Par 3 Poker as a fundraiser. Participants often purchase multiple cards. It is one of the easiest fundraisers you can do and appeals to golfers and non-golfers. Participation can occur before, after and during the tournament. It is one of the most flexible events you can host. Call us about the many ways to incorporate this fundraiser into your meeting, banquet, or tournament. Planning Packages Our experience enables us to look at event history and determine what are the standard purchases of most tournaments. While specifics vary from event to event, we find a majority consistently requires certain core elements. In our on going effort to help you avoid the work and worry, we have created several packages and benchmarked the pricing to give you the best value in the industry. See how one of our packages can help you. Best of all, they are a cost containment boost with no hidden fees or set-ups. Par Package Birdie Package Eagle Package 18X24 Signs (Any combination) 9 signs 14 signs 18 signs 2’x6’ Welcome Banner Included Included Included Hole in One (Up to 144 players) Above Par Package TPC Dreamin’ Augusta Experience Closest to Pin Contest Custom Sign & $50 GC Custom Sign & $50 GC Custom Sign & $50 GC Long Drive Contest Custom Sign & $50 GC Custom Sign & $50 GC Custom Sign & $50 GC 12” Vintage Golf Cup 12” Vintage Golf Cup 12” Vintage Golf Cup 11” Vintage Golf Cup 11” Vintage Golf Cup 1st Place Team Award (4 awards with custom plates) (4 awards with custom plates) (4 awards with custom plates) 2nd Place Team Award (4 awards with custom plates) (4 awards with custom plates) 3rd Place Team Award 10” Vintage Golf Cup (4 awards with custom plates) Par 3 Poker Fundraiser Poker Cards (Up to 144) $100 GC Poker Cards (Up to 144) $100 GC Poker Cards (Up to 144) $100 GC Package Price $950 $1,330 $1,495 Price if purchased separately $1,401 $1,858 $2,286 Hole in One Why it is important. A hole in one is the most important thing a golfer accomplishes. The importance of hole in one contests are often debated. One thing is certain: there is no bigger deflator at an event than a hole in one with no prize. A hole in one creates huge excitement well beyond the event. Your event and sponsors gain perceptions of quality and value when the winner is rewarded for participating at your event. The future marketing impact casts a positive light. Conversely, no prize for this milestone creates a negative impression. The message is you did not cover the base or care enough to reward the golfer. Your package need not be excessive. There are many economical options at less than $3 per player with custom signage. Hot Tip: Purchase a hole in one package for four (4) holes. Sell the entire package or each hole as a modest sponsorship. Cover the cost of the hole in one and offer new sponsor opportunities. Hole in One Hole in one contests are a baseline expectation at every tournament. There is no bigger tournament deflator than a player scoring a hole in one with no prize. The player celebrates no milestone for the accomplishment and the tournament misses an opportunity for great advertising. Packages are available for every budget, or a custom package can be created for themed events. Above Par $3.00/player TPC Challenge $3.75/player Vegas Trip for 2 with air TaylorMade Rsi 1 Irons Pebble Beach Apparel Shopping Spree Loudmouth Golf Merchandise TPC Sawgrass Trip for 2 with air TPC Vegas Trip for 2 with air TPC Scottsdale Trip for 2 with Air TPC San Antonio Trip for 2 with air Roll the Dice $4.00/player Golfers Paradise $4.75/player Vegas Trip for 2 with air Reno Trip for 2 with air Santa Fe Trip for 2 with air Atlantic City Trip for 2 with air Pinehurst Trip for 2 with air Hilton Head Island Trip for 2 with air Pebble Beach Trip for 2 with air Bandon Dunes Trip for 2 with air Greens & Slopes $5.00 /player Augusta Experience $6.00/player Aspen Trip for 2 with air Lake Tahoe Trip for 2 with air Broadmoor Trip for 2 with air Deer Valley Trip for 2 with air Master’s Final Round Trip for 2 with air Master’s Wed Round Trip for 2 with air Flat Screen TV Adams Golf Clubs Hog Heaven Majors Package $8.00/player $6.25/player Harley Davidson Sportster* Loudmouth Golf Merchandise Taylormade Rsi 1 Irons Pebble Beach Apparel Shopping Spree Masters Final Round Trip for 2 with air* US Open Weekend Trip for 2 with air British Open Weekend Trip for 2 with air PGA Championship Weekend Trip for 2 with air (*) Hit from 165 yards, witnesses required Golfer Gifts One of the ways to contain cost while enhancing the player experience is through arrival gifts. Best practice recommends selecting one or two items to be decorated with the tournament name and/or title sponsor’s logo. Budget the best quality you can afford and consider this part of the fixed golf expense. Your planning and selection process becomes less confusing and time consuming if it is guaranteed to happen. When it comes to gifts, golfers would rather receive one or two nice items than several of marginal quality. Remember, the quality of the gift contributes to the high perceived value of participating in your event, and often determines if players will return. Additional gifts beyond the core one or two can be given away only if a sponsor is secured. A second tier of golfer gifts might include gloves, towels, golf balls, bags or specialty hardware. Remember, if you are not able to sell the additional sponsorships for arrival gifts, you will not incur additional cost. You still have the basic selections the tournament gives away. There are exceptional gifts to fit every budget; let us help you develop an appropriate package for your demographic. Tournament Tip: When possible, select golfer gifts that can be returned if not dispensed. This means not all gifts will have a logo, but sponsor recognition can occur in other ways. The most successful tournaments realize huge cost containments by never paying for more than what is used. Sample Golfer Gift Worksheet (*) Item Unit Cost Players Total Cost Sponsorship Net Profit Value Glove $10 100 $1,000 $1,500 $500 Golf Balls $4 100 $400 $750 $350 Ball Cap $6 100 $600 $1000 $400 Shoe Bag $11 100 $1100 $2000 $900 (Sleeve) Comments: *Quantity of players must be estimated and can be adjusted as information is available. Always over estimate player count to avoid shortage on sponsored gifts. Tournament Signage The Basics Every event should have: Welcome banner, including presenting sponsor Signage for Hole Sponsors Banner for Major Sponsors Hole in One Signage with sponsor and/or event name Signs and banners are a staple for tournaments. They represent a marketing opportunity for both the outing and the sponsor. We understand these items are usually ordered right before the event. Whether you need a banner to advertise the event, a sponsor board to thank those making the event possible, or a directional sign to insure a smooth flow of traffic, we have solutions to what can be one of the most detailed areas of fulfillment. Remember, signs must endure a variety of weather elements, including rain and wind. A sign represents no value to the sponsor if it is peeling, tilting, or has fallen over. Tournament Tip: Decide what information you want to include on the sign. Select a template that can be repeated in future years. Reap the benefit of cost containment by saving sponsor signs each year. Industry standard recommends omission of event date or year. We retain your logo and preferred layout to from year to year to save production time and insure a fast turn. Choose a full color sign or banner from our library of golf images. Hole Sponsor Signs $23 $38 (18X24) (24X36) Hot Tip: Hole Sponsor signs are the #1 low cost way to raise your bottom line. Signs are important; they reflect the quality and image of your event. Make sure the sign is worthy to represent the name of your sponsor. Banners Our full color banners are priced at $5.50/sq ft. and are printed on 13 oz. vinyl Example: 2’ x 6’ Full Color $70 3’ x 8’ Full Color $138 Volunteers The Basics Part of hosting a successful tournament requires responsible volunteers you can rely on. You need people you can count on to make sound decisions and represent your event when you are not available. The best volunteers are directly linked to the tournament and may be working with your committee. Having a core group of loyal volunteers every year will make special functions at the tournament appear seamless. Every volunteer should understand: A brief overview of the game, rules and etiquette (The overview needs to include no more than an explanation that golf is a precision club and ball sport where the players try to hit the ball into the hole by using different clubs. The object is to use a minimum number of strokes.) The importance of the job they are asked to do How their participation impacts the entire event Clearly define goals and expectations Tournament Tip: Have a committee member take the lead role and responsibility for organizing your pool of volunteers. Let them be the point person in gathering contact information, summarizing tasks, placement and timing of volunteers. Require your volunteers to check in well before the appointed start time. Use this time to give an overview of what will happen prior to the tournament, during the tournament and after the event. Confirm how long each volunteer is expected to be in attendance. Provide thorough training for each function. Avoid a negative impression to your tournament by preparing a set of instructions to volunteers. Make sure the volunteers and witnesses understand the rules for contests and special events—especially hole in one. Rules vary; make sure the tournament director fully understands contractual requirements. Sample Volunteer Organization Volunteer Activity Location Time Name #1 Name #2 Registration Front Lobby 8AM J. Smith J. Doe Player Sign In Front Lobby 7:30AM Greeter Clubhouse Door 7:00AM Bag Drop Helper Bag Drop 7:00AM Contests On Course 8:30AM Hole in One Witness (2) Hole #9 (Car) 8:30AM H. Miller Hole in One Witness Hole #17 8:30AM K. Barnes Putting Contest Putting Green B/4 & After Play Dinner/Awards Dining Room During Play Draw Raffle Winners Dining Room During Play Set-up Awards/Prizes Dining Room During Play Dining Room 1PM Set-up items with bid sheets Dining Room Noon Marshalls during auction (3) Dining Room 1PM Beverage Station (4) Hole #1, #7, #13, #16 8AM Relief Staff Grill On Call Silent Auction R. Smith L. Gray J. Nichols G. King Sample Volunteer Contact Sheet Name Phone/Cell Email Area Hours Available Shirt Size John Smith 999/888/1212 999/888/5656 [email protected] yere.usa Registration 7AM-1PM Men’s XL Janie Wynn 888/555-6666 999/333/7777 [email protected] Hole in One ere.com Witness 10AM—2PM Ladies M Player Awards The Basics Every event should have awards for : First and Second Place Third Place (Optional) Long Drive Closest to the Pin Straightest Drive Last Place Awards are a staple. Anyone winning an event likes to see recognition. This is a lasting marketing impression of your event. It is the one visual item associated with your event for a long time. In keeping with the philosophy of treating the players well, there is no higher importance than with appropriate awards. Recent player feedback confirms: Golfers do not want golf equipment. Gift certificates/credits have minimal value. Beyond First and Second Place the award has minimal value. Lame awards are not a good investment of resources; they go in a drawer or the trash. Let us help you create a memorable award package that fits your budget and creates a lasting impression. Sponsor Awards The Basics A quality item of recognition and thanks should always be given to: Title Sponsor or Presenting Sponsor Major Sponsors Special Sponsors A quality item of recognition and thanks should always be given to sponsors that provide substantial profit opportunity. Awards for hole sponsorships are generally not expected. In keeping with the philosophy of treating your sponsors well, there is no more lasting impression than an appropriate award. Sponsor retention is key to growing and sustaining your tournament. There are many creative options for sponsor awards at all budget levels. Call us for ideas specific to your demographic. We can help create a custom look for less than you think! Tournament Tip: A sponsor award is the most observed item representing your tournament beyond event day. Make sure the sponsor is proud to display the award and that it represents both the event and the sponsor in a professional, quality manner. The number of impressions and repeat impressions is key to marketing your event. Post Tournament Wrap Up and Thank You It takes the hard work of many people to host a successful tournament. At the conclusion of the formal gatherings, there are details to be concluded. Many of these details can be coordinated through the volunteer pool. Day of the Event Pick up sponsor signage— Most sponsor signage and banners can be used for many years. Make sure the golf course staff is aware you want to retain signage. Do not remove signage while your guests are present at the facility. Clean Up—Do not leave the facility in a mess. Be mindful of the areas you have occupied during the day. Insure all personal items, paperwork and packaging are appropriately dispositioned. This includes all donated items such as gifts and beverages. Be prepared to review the facility invoice and pay the bill. Retain pairing sheets and registration information for future use and reconciling purposes. Collect any sponsor funds or golfer fees that were not collected during registration. Within Two Weeks after the Event Schedule a debriefing meeting with the committee within two weeks after the tournament. Allow each committee member the opportunity to review strengths and weaknesses from their perspective. Two weeks generally provides ample time for all invoices to be submitted, paid and financials closed out. Invest the time to enter all sponsor and golfer contact information into a database. Post Tournament Wrap Up and Thank You Finalize any auction item collections or deliveries Make an assessment of your volunteer roster and determine what can be improved upon with both course management and personnel. Send letters to those helping to make the event a success, such as: sponsors, golfers, volunteers, and suppliers. Exceptional events always send professional, personal notes to those involved. This small detail shows your really care. Electronic messages get the job done, but never convey sincerity like a personal note. Determine the next year’s tournament date and secure the course. Most properties book a year out. Multi year agreements are becoming popular and a preferred date can be locked several years in advance. Donated vs. Purchased Items No topic tends to peak the curiosity of more planners than the debate of donated vs. purchased goods. Donations are the most popular way to omit cost. Donations fall into two categories: 1) items that will be distributed to players and have no revenue potential, 2) items that will be raffled or sold at auction and have revenue potential. As you solicit a donor base, remember to consider the best fit for your donation. Is the item a better raffle prize than auction item, or would it be a higher perceived value if bundled with something else? Is it a noteworthy item to be considered as a special raffle? It is a widely accepted rule that sponsor gifts are never from a donation gift pool. A sponsor gift presented with another company’s logo or name is considered in poor taste. Always apply sound judgment in accepting substantial donations in lieu of sponsorship revenue. It is possible to accept every donation, give away every donation, and never deposit a dime after the tournament. Tournament Tip: The most successful tournaments always purchase player gifts to control the quality and image of what is given. The size and location of the advertising can be monitored to create an image of maximum perceived value. Tournaments find their dollar goes further and with more choices for quality gifts when they control the purchase. Remember, over 90% of paper goods (such as coupons) and unremarkable gifts are never used by the recipient. It takes time to collect and distribute all these items with no return on the time investment. You are doing someone else’s marketing, not your own! Concluding Thoughts Golf has long been known as a gentleman’s sport. The sport has its very own rules of etiquette. We are taught at the end of a round, remove our hat, shake the winner’s hand and congratulate him at the close of a match. The basics should carry over to a tournament as well. Tournaments are hectic events. Little things get away from us. By keeping the fundamentals of golf alive at every step of your operation, you will inherently host a gracious event. No tournament is immune from risk in a year of economic challenge. One of the best strategies in hosting a winning event is to treat your golfers and sponsors well. When you purchase a giveaway, award or sign ask yourself: is this something I would like to have? Your answer should determine a course of action. Don’t be afraid to make a choice of quality and perceived value. It always pays off. In times such as these, it is more important than ever to wisely choose strong partners and suppliers. There is an inherent difference between a business that takes your order and a business totally vested in the industry. One of our founding principles is to always present a maximum value for the spend. We have gone the extra mile to provide you with cost containment and savings in every aspect of tournament planning. Because of our commitment to the industry we are stable, well financed and positioned to weather any downturns with you. Our relationships are more important than ever. We thank you for the confidence you place in us everyday. The content of this document is the property of ©Above Par Promotions and may not be reproduced or distributed without express written permission.
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