SBJ/January 23-29, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Furyk gets shot of 5-Hour Energy

Jim Furyk might be walking down the fairway with a pep in his step. The PGA Tour veteran has signed a multiyear deal with 5-Hour Energy that puts the new sponsor on the front of Furyk’s headwear.

Furyk, who will be the lead endorser for the company as it makes its debut in golf this year, will unveil the new look Feb. 9 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which is where he will kick off his 2012 season. The oval 5-Hour Energy logo with the running man will go across the front of Furyk’s hats.

“This is an exciting deal because it brings a whole new category into golf,” said Andrew Witlieb, Furyk’s agent and CEO of Goal Marketing, which is part of The Agency marketing group. “This is going to be the brand’s big splash in golf and they’re the leader in their category.”

Jim Furyk will wear the brand’s logo on his headwear starting Feb. 9 at Pebble Beach.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Furyk's
major sponsors

5-Hour Energy

Callaway

Children’s Miracle Network

GE Healthcare

Marquis Jet

MedjetAssist

Royal Bank of Canada

SkyCaddie

SunGard Financial

YRC transportation


5-Hour Energy is more than the leader in the energy-shot category. It is the category.

With sales topping $900 million last year, 5-Hour Energy is a runaway train with 80 percent of the market share in the energy-shot category. The product, produced by Living Essentials, is so dominant that Red Bull abandoned its attempts to break through last summer. It’s even sold in golf pro shops as an energy boost before golfers hit the course.

But unlike many energy drinks, 5-Hour Energy’s branding is not the hip, cool look that goes after the younger crowd. Hence, the brand fit with the 41-year-old Furyk, a husband and father of two. His “family man” persona was what 5-hour Energy decided on after talking to several younger golfers, sources said, including up-and-comers Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and others.

5-Hour Energy’s target in golf is the middle-aged businessman, the teacher, the blue-collar worker, anyone in that more mature professional space who’s trying to get through the afternoon at work and needs an energy boost. The company calls the afternoon lull “that 2:30 feeling.”

It’s part of a marketing strategy that has 5-Hour Energy taking on coffee rather than other energy drinks and advertising like crazy, increasingly so against sports. The brand title sponsors a Nationwide Series race in Dover and will serve as the primary sponsor for 24 Sprint Cup races on Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 car.

The financials of the deal with Furyk were not available, but sponsors typically pay in the high six figures to low seven figures for prime space on elite golfers in Furyk’s class.

The brand will use Furyk in TV, digital and print advertisements. It also has plans to make a large hospitality buy with the PGA Tour that will be designed to entertain 5-Hour Energy’s retail partners, such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, Costco and others.

Furyk is already among the top earners off the course, raking in close to $6 million a year from endorsement deals (see box). That, according to industry experts, puts him roughly in the top five male golfers.

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