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Sports Event Staff Management: CVS Pharmacy / LPGA Challenge

The CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge is an annual LPGA Tour event held at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, California. As is typical in event management and specifically sports event management, the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge is a labor-intensive undertaking. More than 700 volunteers and staff are required each year.

The Challenge

Critical to the event is the carts and shuttles team, which manages about 150 carts moving tournament players, staff, and VIP’s over a challenging course on the LPGA, PGA, and Champions tours. A group of 120 volunteers is involved over 7 days. Veteran volunteer coordinators Dave Marshburn and Rich Rogers make the team successful each year.

Marshburn explained the challenges encountered with their process in previous years. “We received our list of volunteers, then chose a team of five or six good folks with phones and a lot of patience,” he said. “The team would call volunteers to check availability and ensure that daily manpower requirements were filled. Messages were left, calls may or may not be returned, and a massive number of schedule changes were made. It was very frustrating and labor-intensive.”

“I remember a few years ago, the day we expected 40 volunteers and only 18 showed,” he said. “From then on, we called everyone to remind them of each shift because we didn’t know who was actually coming. Forward-looking visibility and the associated communication was a big problem.”

Shiftboard Scheduling Software for Sports Event Management

Because Shiftboard is an online hosted system with no IT requirements, Marshburn and Rogers were able to roll it out very quickly. Their top benefits for sports event management and scheduling included:

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  • Forward-looking calendar visibility. “Knowing who was on what shift, with a real-time calendar everyone could see from a browser, helped immensely. Phone calls and emails were drastically reduced.”
  • Automated confirmations and reminders. “The auto confirms and reminders were a huge help. Volunteers were certain of their shift dates and times, which increased attendance.”
  • Integrated messaging. “Late Friday, we learned the first Saturday and Sunday tee times would move from 6 to 8 am. Using Shiftboard messaging, we notified just the first shift volunteers, so they got another 2 hours sleep. That was unheard of in our old paradigm.”
  • Reporting. “We ran reports on shift and calendar status daily, and downloaded to Excel, which was a big help in keeping track of check-ins and shift turnover."

The volunteers had very positive feedback for the scheduling software. They appreciated being able to check the schedule instantly from any web browser. “I found it very useful to look up information without having to play "phone tag" to get an answer,” one volunteer said.  “It was easy to check my schedule or make changes.... when it was convenient for me!”