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How to pivot from printing graphics for an in-person event to a nationally televised tournament. 




THE TPC TWIN CITIES private golf club in Blaine, Minnesota, has played host to the 3M Open, a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, for the past two years. This year’s tournament presented new and unforeseen challenges as COVID-19 limited the number of people attending the event to just about 1000, including ambassadors, media members, support, and other essential employees. For 3M, the tournament’s sponsor, this presented a new challenge as the branding approach swiftly transitioned from an in-person experience targeted to on-site fans, to a television- and social media-centric strategy. “Once we determined what our overall theme was, which was the power of community, and that the majority of our on-course activations were to be designed for television pickup, we had to start figuring out how we can leverage our science and solutions,” says Collin Hummel, 3M senior brand manager.

3M relied on St. Paul, Minnesota-based print shop Brand Ink, owner, Nick Lowry, and his team of experts to face this challenge head on and adapt to the new approach. “We’ve now done the 3M Open for two years. The first year was really designed around the 150,000 people that would be there in-person. Not to say we weren’t doing things for television, because we certainly were, but it was a lot of things for people to experience one-to-one,” says Lowry. “This year was designed around ‘How do we garner the most attention from a television audience or social media?’”

To do this, Brand Ink and 3M collaborated on creative installations, like forming the shape of Minnesota out of 3M’s white Command Hooks while using red Command Hooks to create a heart design around the Twin Cities’ location within the state. It was installations like this that were targeted during the television broadcast, and they left a lasting impression on viewers. “We now have these assets that we created this year that we can leverage next year and reskin where necessary that will attract the television eye again and will pop on TV,” says Lowry.

Brand Ink used an HP Latex 3200 printer for many of the graphics, and found that 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3 finished off with 3M Envision Matte Wrap Overlaminate 8550M appeared well on camera and stood out on the broadcast.


The suggestions that Brand Ink offered to 3M throughout the entire process were invaluable to the event’s success. “The consultation value added from Brand Ink can’t be overstated,” says Hummel. “When we started shifting from in-person to a lot of television things, it was great to hear suggestions from Nick about what to use and why.” Both teams learned some valuable lessons and developed strategies that can be used in the future, even once COVID-19 has passed.

“You’ll probably find a lot more floor graphics and wayfinding in the overall planning of future events,” says Lowry. “Wayfinding and things like that have always been a piece of the puzzle in an event, but I think people are now realizing how much you can convey in a simple manner to direct crowds and maximize safety while still allowing for some fun.”

Both 3M and Brand Ink worked with the PGA Tour, CBS, The Golf Channel, and the course personnel to optimize the branding efforts. At the end of the event, both 3M and Brand Ink considered it to be a great success. Most importantly, the event ended with everyone involved heading home healthy, which was the paramount concern for the tournament.


  • 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3
  • 3M Envision Matte Wrap Overlaminate 8550M
  • 3M Envision Print Wrap Film LX & SV 480mC
  • 3M Scotchlite Print Wrap Film 780mC
  • 3M Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8518
  • 3M Scotchcal Clear View Graphic Film IJ8150
  • 3M Scotchcal Optically Clear Overlaminate 8914
  • 3M Controltac Print Film 40C
  • 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8509
  • 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 3645 Hardware


  • HP Latex 3200 Printer
  • HP Latex R2000 Printer
  • HP Latex 570 Printer
  • HP Latex 370 Printer
  • Zünd G3 Digital Cutter
  • Seal 62 Base Laminator



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