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Posts Tagged ‘Golf’

TaylorMade-Adidas with “world’s longest job interview”

Posted by ZA on July 27, 2010

TaylorMade-Adidas have come up with a unique promotion to find their next Social Media Catalyst.  The promotion is actually a job interview in which the two finalists for the position travel around the globe playing golf.  Their assignment is to chronicle their journey via social media; whichever candidate gets the buzz will land the position at TaylorMade-Adidas.  I think this is a great idea by the company to generate some inexpensive buzz.  Also its the kind of thing that will get them a lot of attention from talented workers who may want to join such a progressive company.  My prediction is TaylorMade-Adidas probably winds up hiring them of the candidates competing for Social Media Catalyst.

Read the full story here at AdAge.

Adidas is the parent company for TaylorMade, they acquired them in 1997.  The TaylorMade-Adidas combination generated over $800 million in sales in 2009, which was down a bit from previous years. TaylorMade-Adidas generated over $1 billion in revenue as recently as 2006.  TaylorMade manufactures clubs & golf balls, while Adidas sells golf apparel and shoes.

Some of the more notable professional golfers who endorse TaylorMade-Adidas are:
Paula Creamer (LPGA)
Jim Furyk
Sergio Garcia
Retief Goosen
Dustin Johnson
Kenny Perry
Justin Rose
Mike Weir

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Golf, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tiger Woods’ impact on PGA Tour

Posted by ZA on March 24, 2010

The New York Times Magazine offers a good look at the affect that Tiger Woods has had on golf and the PGA tour, in their article called “Tiger Bubble”.  It offers some fascinating insight into the changes Tiger has brought to the world of professional golf.  And it analyzes how Tiger’s current scandal might affect golf.  The article has plenty of quotes that the folks at the PGA Tour headquarters might not like to hear, including these two below:

“…will investors return to an enterprise whose fortunes have seemed so inextricably linked to a single brand?”

“…almost three times as many golf courses closed as opened in the United States last year.”

Posted in Golf | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guest post: Elin Holds the Cards

Posted by ZA on March 9, 2010

BrandDunk has covered different aspects of how Tiger Woods situation will affect his endorsements.  Today we have a talented guest author who offers a fresh perspective on the situation to let sponsors know when to expect a return to normal.


This guest post is authored by Casey Harverstick, a freelance writer who has written for and ESPN the Magazine. Casey is an avid golfer who resides in Austin, Texas – you can email him at

Elin Holds the Cards

Much time has passed since “the wreck.”  Tiger Woods has made his much-anticipated, very public apology.  Since Tiger made it clear he’s not going to discuss what happened the night of the accident, two big questions still remain:  When will Tiger return to competitive golf?  Will Tiger and Elin remain married?

One person has the answer to these questions.  That person is not Tiger.  It’s his wife, Elin.  How the media and its revelations have impacted Elin – not Tiger – is an interesting and less frequently viewed angle.  Below is a breakdown of how various factors of this story could impact Elin’s decision.

Tiger’s Soliloquy (aka: Tiger’s apology)

Surely Elin was pleased with what Tiger said.  However I can’t help but think she was upset that he had to say it in that forum.  She’s obviously a private person.  That Tiger had to apologize to the entire world for being an awful husband couldn’t sit well.  By the time he spoke publicly, he had probably apologized to her 1000 times.  So this one wasn’t really about her at all.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she didn’t even watch.  And it definitely didn’t surprise me that she wasn’t there.

Impact on Elin: Non-factor

Hard to look at it that way, considering this was easily the biggest, most scrutinized event since the accident itself.  Elin had already heard versions of that speech ten times over by the time he stepped to the podium.  Mostly, it served to embarrass.  And provide the public with his face on camera.

The Women and Their Stories

Rachel Uchitel was the first Tiger Woods mistress to be revealed

This situation completely went out of control when it became evident that there were a lot more than just a couple women.  Per the Hillary Clinton corollary, I got the feeling Elin could possibly forgive a tryst with one woman, maybe two.  When we got into double digits, I assumed it would be a deal breaker.  Conversely, the double digit tally also paved the way for the “rehab.”  As if to say a man who sleeps around with one woman isn’t pathological.  The rehab gave Tiger something to focus on – parameters and rules and, maybe most importantly, he had a reason for his behavior.  An addiction.  Anyway, out of everything that came out, this had to be the most damning.  Especially considering it got so much media attention.  That it happened so publicly and crudely only hurts Tiger’s chances – at golf and reconciliation.  These were surely the darkest, hardest days for Elin.  It’s one thing to find out your spouse is cheating on you.  It’s another to find out about it on ESPN.

Impact on Elin: Big factor.

Ultimately, could end the marriage.  And could definitely delay Tiger’s return to the course.  If he’s fighting to keep her – however one goes about that – it will definitely not behoove him to pound balls nine hours a day while she shops or hangs out with the kids.  That said, you can’t just sit down at the dining room table and hash this out in a night or two.  But not playing doesn’t fix anything either.  Around and around we go.

Stevie’s Interview and Tiger’s Inner Circle

Tiger Woods caddie, Steve Williams, speaks out

Steve Williams, Tigers’ caddie/friend/bodyguard, has pleaded ignorance to Tiger’s philandering from the outset (Stevie’s comments on Tiger).  And like everyone else who read that, I found it incredibly hard to believe.  He’s sticking by it.  It’s important to note this isn’t your standard player-caddie relationship.  Tiger was the best man at Stevie’s wedding.  Tiger covered Stevie in tears after winning the British Open in 2006 shortly after his father’s death. He cried more on Stevie’s shoulder than he did on his mother’s or Elin’s.  It’s not like they go their separate ways after every round.  Tiger typically rents houses during tournament weeks to avoid the public – and because money isn’t an issue.  All these nights Tiger strayed Stevie wasn’t staying at a Motel 6 and he definitely wasn’t camped out in the front yard.  This interview reads like a direct plea to Elin:  Don’t make Tiger fire me.  Stevie can’t be the only one sweating his future.  From the onset there has been much speculation about Tiger’s entourage.  With reconciliation a possibility, would Elin allow Stevie, Byron Bell (best friend from childhood), Mark Steinberg (agent) and numerous other confidants to stay in the inner circle?  Tiger makes all of these people a lot of money.  Millions and millions of dollars at stake here.  This is not to say Tiger isn’t solely responsible for his actions.  But she must feel scorned by these people – they’re her friends, too.  Or at least she thought they were.

Impact on Elin: Small factor for Tiger’s return; non-factor for their reconciliation.

I’m not sure putting Tiger in time out and not letting him play with his friends will serve any other purpose than to make him unhappy – and cost him money.  Granted, that might sound pleasant in itself to her.  I doubt Elin believes Stevie was ignorant of everything, but she’s got her hands full without picking a new caddie for Tiger.  Steinberg is an agent – and nobody likes or trusts agents.  There isn’t a successful agent in the world who wouldn’t cover up for Tiger Woods, if given the chance.  That said, assuming a reconciliation is in the works, there will be discussions between Elin and Tiger about who he spends his time with on the road.  These discussions could definitely lead to a delay in his return or a change to his normal playing schedule.

Tiger’s College Girlfriend’s Article

Tiger Woods college girlfriend, Irene Folstrom published this article from Tiger Woods former girlfriend from his days at Stanford.

Impact on Elin: None

Laughably transparent and self-serving.  Let me get this straight, you’re coming to Tiger’s defense by saying he treated you well in college?  How would Elin read this?  Do you want her to be happy for you?  I have an easier time believing Stevie didn’t know Tiger was in orgies than believing Tiger never cheated on this one.  I hope Elin never read it.  For my money, this is the cheapest, most unattractive story I’ve come across and I’m surprised it got published on a non-tabloid website.  I’ve listed it here only as an example of the lengths the media will go to get a headline when there’s a lull.

Regarding their marriage, I don’t have a rooting interest.  I do hope the kids can have somewhat of a normal childhood (which was probably a long shot the moment they were born).  As a golf fan, I’d like to see Tiger back at Bay Hill and then, of course, The Masters.  The game misses him.  The networks and sponsors definitely miss him.  To borrow Reggie Jackson’s line, he stirs the drink.  If I could ask Tiger just one thing, it would be this:

Would you mind if I asked Elin a question?


Much time has passed since “the wreck.”  Tiger has made his much-anticipated, very public apology.  Since Tiger made it clear he’s not going to discuss what happened the night of the accident, two big questions still remain:  When will Tiger return to competitive golf?  Will Tiger and Elin remain married?

One person has the answer to these questions.  That person is not Tiger.  It’s his wife, Elin.  How the media and its revelations have impacted Elin – not Tiger – is an interesting and less frequently viewed angle.  Below is a breakdown of how various factors of this story could impact Elin’s decision.

Posted in Golf, Random Stuff, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tiger Woods turning mainstream golf sites into TMZ

Posted by ZA on November 30, 2009 has always been one of my favorite sites to catch up on what’s going on in the world of golf.  I enjoy their special features and their Q&A section (check out this great one with Brandel Chamblee if you haven’t read it yet).   But this week Tiger Woods hysteria has turned, and the other mainstream golf sites, into sites that more closely resemble rival tabloid journalism sites.

The first 6 stories listed under’s “Top Stories” section all were about Woods, his suspicious crash and his wife Elin.  Their feature headline is “Silent Treatment”, which refers to Tiger’s decision to not answer questions about his accident or other rumors swirling around the web. Apparently this week only has morphed into TMZ.

Mainstream golf writers are writing about 911 calls and mistresses instead of snap hooks and double eagles.  Instead of doing press about the game they cover, they are being asked about what they know about Tiger Woods.  They are one part legendary golf author Dan Jenkins and another gossip talk show host Tyra Banks.  Personally I’m looking forward to seeing David Feherty’s breakdown Tiger’s crash scene in Isleworth with a telestrator of the fire hydrant and crash tree.

When will the Tiger Woods hysteria end? Either when he speaks out to tell what happened or there is a bigger story to cover.  It is not likely the golf world will see a bigger story in the near future.  So Tiger will stay in this media spotlight until there are some answers to the many questions and rumors swirling around.  Tiger, I appreciate your right to privacy, but silence is not always golden. Homepage on Monday after Tiger Woods story broke



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Will Tiger Woods win an Olympic gold medal?

Posted by ZA on August 13, 2009

The organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have to be kicking themselves this morning.  As big as those Games are going to be (and they’ll bigger than Beijing) they are going to be missing one key ingredient that could make them even bigger, golfer Tiger Woods.   Woods won’t be playing golf in London for the 2012 Olympics, but he could be competing in the 2016 Olympics because his sport was just approved for inclusion.

The IOC voted today to add golf and rugby as the two newest Olympic sports.  Both sports will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games.  These picks shouldn’t come as any surprise, except maybe those rooting for baseball to be picked.  I predicted golf and rugby would be the finalists in an article I wrote a short time ago, although I did have a difficult time selecting between rugby & baseball for the second spot.  I think baseball would have brought more sponsorship dollars than rugby, but it’s splitting hairs.

But now back to the more important question, can a 40 year old Tiger Woods win a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics? Woods would be 40 years old in the Summer of 2016, but should still be in the late stages of his prime as a golfer.  So I wouldn’t put it past Woods to compete and win an Olympic gold medal in golf.  It would be another unique accomplishment for Tiger to put with the stack he’s already accumulated, so he’s got the motivation.  So I think Tiger Woods will be an Olympic gold medal winner.

Posted in Golf, Olympics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mutiny in the LPGA?

Posted by ZA on July 9, 2009

I thought ships were the only place where mutiny occurred.  Turns out the golf course and corporate offices of the LPGA are another place where mutiny is still an option.  That is because a group of top LPGA golfers has banded together to other throw their Commissioner, Carolyn Bivens.

Advertising Age has more on the story, but it because appears that these golfers feel Bivens is directly responsible for the loss of sponsors for key LPGA events.  There are more than a dozen female golfers attacking the LPGA Commish include top stars: Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa.  They are asking that Bivens “resign immediately” due to the loss of key sponsors.  Only 10 of 27 tournaments for 2010 have sponsors lined up at this point.

The AdAge article paints a picture of Bivens as someone who has a rocky tenure as Commissioner.  She has had some media missteps and driven a hard line with sponsors, which perhaps has led some of them to jump ship.  It also says that Bivens has not gotten along well with some of the LGPA tour’s biggest stars; presumably the same ladies who are now asking her to step down.  Those three items can be a recipe for disaster if you are running a professional sports league during these troubled economic times.

If this mutiny unfair to Commissioner Bivens?  Is the LPGA leadership being treated unfairly? No, the players have a right to demand top performance from their league executives.  The finances of the golfers are directly tied to the success of the league, more so in golf than in other team sports (e.g.- NFL, NBA).  If the Bivens cannot sell sponsorships, then the LPGA Board of Directors needs to find a leader who can.

Most companies have contracted their marketing budgets over the past 12 months, or at the very least gotten very careful with their spending.  But there are still a large pool of businesses which would be willing to spend money to promote their brand next to the top female golfers in the World.  Grocery chain Hy-Vee was a title sponsor for a televised triathlon this past weekend; they are a $7 billion company that could sponsor an LPGA tournament in the same way that Kroger, Safeway and CVS have done.  There are a variety of Houston-based corporations that could be signed up as title sponsor of the upcoming LPGA Tour Championship at the Houstonian Golf & Country Club.  Or the LPGA could approach large female owned corporations to back the all female golf tour.

In-short there are plenty of deals available to the LPGA, even in these challenging economic times.  They will not be easy to land, but the LPGA is in a position where it can be creative because it has so much open opportunities.  Plus LPGA golfers are willing to do their part to make sponsors happy; mingling with sponsors at events, showing up for parties hosted by them and doing whatever is necessary to keep them on-board.  By comparison can you imagine David Stern asking Rasheed Wallace to show up to an event hosted by an NBA sponsor?  It wouldn’t happen.

To me it just sounds like Carolyn Bivens is not the right person to led the LPGA.  And if that is right, then the golfers asking her to step down have the right idea in-mind.  My best to Bivens family, but perhaps parting ways is best for everyone involved.  She’s lost the backing of her biggest stars, the sponsors are leaving in droves – best for her to get out now (somewhat voluntarily) before things really get ugly.

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Golfsmith backing Mickelson & Mediate at 2009 US Open

Posted by ZA on June 10, 2009

Golfsmith is at it again…for the second time this year they are offering a free driver to their customers IF a certain golfer wins a golf tournament.  Back in April the golf superstore offered a free TaylorMade driver if Sergio Garcia won the 2009.  The catch?  You had to purchase the driver prior to completion of the final round of The Masters.  After shooting a 67 in the 2nd round, Sergio eventually faded to finish tied for 38th.  So there were no free TaylorMade drivers.

This time Golfsmith is backing two huge fan favorites, Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate.  Mickelson captured the hearts of the New York crowds at the 2002 US Open when he battled Tiger Woods down to the wire, eventually finishing 2nd.  Rocco achieved a similar feat in the 2008 US Open, by taking eventually winner Tiger Woods to an extra 18 holes of golf to determine the winner.  Both will have a tremendous amount of crowd support at Bethpage Black…and now on TV from golf fans around the country who want to win a free Callaway driver.  Golfsmith will offer a free Callaway if Phil or Rocco wins at Bethpage.

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Paddy Harrington on a 900 yard Par 3

Posted by ZA on April 3, 2009

How does Padraig Harrington play a 900 yard par 3?

Driver – Sand Wedge – Putter = par.  Wow!

Posted in Athletes, Golf | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Golfsmith backs Sergio Garcia at Masters

Posted by ZA on March 26, 2009

Golfsmith is backing Sergio Garica, but not sponsoring or endorsing the Spaniard.  Instead they are putting a wager on him to win the Masters, well sort of…  What is for sure is that Golfsmith’s new promotion will get people, who participate, rooting for Sergio Garcia to win the 2009 Masters.

The offer from Golfsmith is that anyone who buys select TaylorMade drivers at Golfsmith will get their money back if Sergio wins at the Masters.  You buy a driver for full retail price, then if Sergio wins you get your money back but get to keep the club.  Pretty cool, huh?  I bought my new TaylorMade driver last year so unfortunately I’m not eligible.

But I still like the promotion because its unique and will draw attention.  It is also a smart bet for Golfsmith because most golf experts would say that Sergio is a long shot to win the Masters.  Sergio has yet to win one of golf’s majors, although he came close at the British Open before choking it away on the final holes and in a playoff.

The Golfsmith promotion was already written up in AdAge and it will probably get a lot of attention in the golf community and blogosphere.  So even if Sergio does pull of the miracle victory at Augusta National and Golfsmith has to pay up for all of the TaylorMade drivers they sell.  The attention generated on the promotion will still be worth the cost to Golfsmith.  Golfsmith is receiving some positive brand exposure for offering the promotion and they will probably sell a few extra TaylorMade drivers.  So to me it is a smart move by the golf retail giant.

Click here to shop at Golfsmith.

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Wells Fargo walks away from PGA sponsorship

Posted by ZA on March 18, 2009

Wells Fargo’s acquisition Wachovia is not only walking away from their sponsorships with the PGA Tour, they are walking away and leaving money on the table.  Some of Wachovia’s deals with the PGA Tour are through 2014, but Wells Fargo still made the decision to give them up.  The reason Wells Fargo is giving up the PGA Tour is that consumers are seemingly unhappy with the failed financial company (Wachovia) still spending money on sports sponsorships.  This bowing down to public perception occurred even though Bank of America has come out recently with data in support of their sponsorships of sporting events.


More at SportBusiness on Wells Fargo pulling the plug on their sponsorships of the PGA Tour.

Posted in Golf, Sponsorship Deals | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »