In our last blog article, we discussed the merits of an endorsement deal with a professional golfer who is still competitive on one of the Tours, garners more time on camera during televised events and, in turn, generates millions in brand exposure for his sponsors. To sell your CEO on the idea, we pointed to the value golfing legend Tom Watson continues to deliver for his sponsors because of his competitiveness on the Champions Tour and in certain Major Championships.
Before approaching your boss, you want to bolster your recommendation with another real world example of a Tour player whose performance on the course produces a return on investment for his sponsors. A relevant and timely case in point is Steve Stricker who won Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial tournament which was broadcast on CBS and the Golf Channel recently. His victory catapulted him to 4th place in the world rankings and provides the momentum to build his confidence heading into the U.S. Open.
Knowing that seven of Steve Stricker's last ten victories on the PGA Tour have occurred while in his early forties, you think your CEO would be interested in "Steve Stricker" sponsors - especially the NYSE's sponsorship agreement with Steve and how it is tied to his work ethic and staying power.
Drawing on input from a key member of our business golf services team, Bill Colvin, President, Colvin Sports Network, here are three effective practices you should consider:
1. Be Mindful of the Player’s Schedule and Goals
Be aware of the demands on the player’s time so he can represent his sponsor’s brand around the world while pursuing his goals on the golf course. For example, an outing on a week the professional is not playing can take up to two and a half days. So be mindful that a one day outing or dinner in a city (The PGA TOUR plays in all the major markets) where the professional golfer is playing is going to be much better received. In turn, the player’s success on the golf course produces a “halo effect” that associates the sponsor’s brand with the winning persona of the player.
2. Consider Offering Incentives as Part of the Player’s Compensation Package
As a rule, addtional compensation plans should NOT be necessary. Although not guaranteed or totally expected, a professional golfer relationship includes good performance! Much to the dismay sometimes of their agents. However, in special circumstances, it does warrant investigating.
3. Consider the Player’s Other Endorsement Deals to Reach New Target Audiences
By way of example, having your company’s logo on the player’s shirt may also show up in ads with his other sponsors. This provision can extend the investment greatly, BUT it needs to be discussed up front. It does no good to assume exposure of your brand if the advertisements from one company hide your brand.
With regard to cross promotional opportunities, the Titleist ad to the left of the page is effective because it seamlessly ties their logoed production capabilities to the Players' affiliations with other sponsors (e.g. Steve Stricker is holding a Titleist golf ball with an NYSE logo).
Armed with these effective practices and real world examples, you will be well on your way to gaining your CEO’s support and approval of marketing dollars to hire a Professional golfer to represent your brand.
Bill Colvin, President, Colvin Sports Network is constantly developing relationships between sponsors and professional golfers / celebrities that lead to mutually beneficial partnerships. You can contact Bill via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 216-272-7779. You can also follow him on Twitter: @billcolvin.
In a future blog, we will make available a new white paper which outlines recent trends in endorsement deals that may be of interest to our readers.
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Photo Credit: Titleist Ad - Courtesy of Colvin Sports Network