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SHARK INC.: THE BUSINESS OF GREG NORMAN FEATURED IN ESQUIRE
Published March 20, 1998
GREG NORMAN is profiled by Joe Bargmann in ESQUIRE under the header "Sixteen True Tales About Greg Norman." Norman, on TIGER WOODS' impact on golf: "I was probably very similar to him in a lot of ways when I was twenty-one. But you don't know what's gonna happen in the next twenty years. And I really don't see a threat from him. Just in the same way JACK NICKLAUS didn't see any threat from Greg Norman. Different times, different audience. That's the beauty of golf -- fifty million people are into it; there's a lot of audience to go around" (ESQUIRE, 4/98 issue). HE'S NOT A GOLFER, HE'S A LIFESTYLE: Bargmann calls Reebok CEO PAUL FIREMAN's move to sign Norman to a lifetime endorsement deal -- but not put the Reebok logo on his line of clothing -- "an unprecedented deal that looked nothing like the traditional athlete-sponsor setup, giving Norman not only his own label but greater independence." Fireman: "I didn't want it to be about things that look promotional. It's got to be about quality -- about building a brand under Greg Norman, not just selling goods under Greg Norman." The goal is for Norman's collection "to transcend golf, to move beyond being a player, to become an icon, a symbol of success or, at the very least, sincere aspiration." The model is Rene Lacoste's "Le Crocodile." Bargmann: "Does it matter that no one who wears an alligator shirt today actually remembers Lacoste? Norman doesn't think so." Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises, "has exploded" to include a resort development, course design, turf farms, golf events (the Shark Shootout), a licensing arm, and Norman's endorsement deals with companies such as Cobra, Chevrolet (he will drive the pace car at May's Indy 500), Boeing and Bell Helicopter. BART COLLINS, Norman's manager: "It's no longer about what deals we do for Greg. It's a matter of what businesses we put him in. It's all about building brand equity in our own product" (ESQUIRE, 4/98).