SBD/February 18, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

These Girls Rock: LPGA Breaks First Brand Campaign In Four Years

First LPGA spot features Natalie Gulbis and her autograph experiences
The LPGA is "breaking its first brand campaign in four years to try and lure new fans," according to Rich Thomaselli of AD AGE. The tour "barely did any advertising" from '05-09 under then Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, but it is now "looking to reinvent itself with a campaign." LPGA CMO Jon Podany said, "I really think it's two things at play here. One is to be able to showcase our players better, and two is to communicate how we're different. We felt there were some great things about our players and we needed to tell that story better." Thomaselli reported four ads via Sacred Cow, Austin, will break "this weekend on The Golf Channel's coverage of the season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand." The first ad features Natalie Gulbis "and her unique autograph experiences," while I.K. Kim is shown in the second ad. Podany said, "What we're getting at here is approachability. Our golfers have a giving nature, but we don't want to lose sight of the competitiveness of the LPGA" (ADAGE.com, 2/17).

PRESSEL IN FOR FOUNDERS CUP: Golfer Morgan Pressel Thursday formally committed to playing the March 18-20 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Cristie Kerr has yet to commit but said that she "approves of the newest format and supports the event" (THEGOLFCHANNEL.com, 2/17). SI's Dottie Pepper notes Pressel, Kerr and Suzann Pettersen "have publicly criticized" LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan for the tournament, but "reactions like this are absurd." Pepper: "If you don't want to play, fine. Whan made it clear that no one was obligated nor would a player be chastised for passing. ... The whining has made those players look selfish and neglectful of their endorsers, who value the early-season domestic exposure" (SI, 2/21 issue).
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