SBD/Issue 111/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Phil Mickelson Starring In Humorous Crowne Plaza Campaign

Crowne Plaza To Debut Ads Featuring
Mickelson (c), Feherty (r) In April
Crowne Plaza in April will debut a "series of amusing, golf-themed ads" starring PGA Tour member Phil Mickelson, according to Larry Dorman of the N.Y. TIMES. The spots, featuring fans along with Mickelson and CBS' David Feherty, "promise to be funnier than last year's six 30-second and three 15-second spots of unscripted banter from golf celebrities" that highlighted Crowne Plaza's golf activation. More than 1,000 people auditioned to be in the "A Meeting With Phil" campaign. Topics of the spots include fans "who have been hit by an errant Mickelson shot, a legion of fans who believe they resemble Mickelson [and] fans who have advice for him." In one ad, when talking about the '06 U.S. Open at Winged Foot that Mickelson famously lost on the 72nd hole, Feherty says to Mickelson, "Isn't that the one you won?" Mickelson then "just looks at him, his expression a little mystified." Mickelson: "I like doing this. The gist of the humor is self-deprecating, which I like. It gives me a chance to laugh at myself in different settings." Feherty said of Mickelson, "He is sort of the touchable superstar. People really identify with him, not just because he's good with fans, he stops, he signs autographs, he spends a lot of time with them." Crowne Plaza Senior VP/Worldwide Brand Management Kevin Kowalski and VP/Brand Management Gina LaBarre both are "sold on this campaign and see it as a natural follow-up to last year's" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/28).

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