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Golf: The Timberlake Touch

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Bringing Sexy Back to Golf?” is the WSJ’s Suzanne Vranica’s spin on the news that Callaway have announced Justin Timberlake, as Callaway's creative director.

Note the question mark. It appears Suzanne isn’t so sure that a sexy appeal “will get it (Callaway) out of the rough it has been in since the 2008 recession.”
And who’s Justin Timberlake anyway? That’s right he’s the guy who hosts the Shriners Hospitals for Children tournament. But as to his other claims to fame you’ll have to search elsewhere. No I’ll do it for you and my benefit.

Justin has won six Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards so he can’t be all that bad at acting. And he’s very popular with the younger generations and that’s good since we need to grow the game and make it more popular with the young folks.

Suzanne writes, "Being hip and contemporary has to be part of the marketing plan" in order to attract new and younger golfers to the brand, says Jeff Colton, Callaway's senior vice president of global brand and product.”

Justin has been quoted as saying he hopes that because of his advertising and marketing efforts it will give golf a "nice injection of kickassery."

An interesting choice of word which should appeal to the culture of the younger kids but it’s not going to win over the heavily-weighted numbers of middle-aged or old age golfers. Who I fear will not be swayed to change to Callaway products because they’ve watched adverts, which show “Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam using Callaway products to perform jaw-dropping golf feats on the Las Vegas Strip.” Or another one which shows “Alvaro Quiros on a floating platform on the strip, hitting a golf ball 310 yards over the Bellagio fountain.”

Suzanne writes, “Nor has the company kept up with rivals in terms of advertising. Callaway spent $30 million on U.S. ads during the first nine months of 2011, according to WPP PLC's Kantar Media. During the same period, Titleist and TaylorMade shelled out $41.1 million and $38.4 million, respectively.”

“Callaway has promised investors that it would spend $25 million more on advertising and marketing this year.” And that’s the good news for Justin. The other news is that the Scotsman reports, “Colin Montgomerie goes ‘back to the future’ with club change…On the eve of the Volvo Golf Champions event at Fancourt, the 48-year-old Scot revealed he is back using Callaway clubs.”

Alas “Monty” is not a good fit for Callaway’s advertising aspirations although the image of kicking Monty’s ass would no doubt appeal to the very many Americans who have taken a great dislike to the Scotsman over the years.

Sorry, but have run out of time to write about Bubba buying a Dukes of Hazard car. Now there’s an image that Justin may well want to weave into his advertising mix. However I’ve provided a link to the article in Yahoo

Here’s the link to Suzanne, The Scotsman and Yahoo 
Quote of the Day

“Now, if Bubba wheels that bad boy up Magnolia Lane at Augusta, he'll be my hero forever.”

– Jay Busbee at Yahoo

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