In San Diego, Tod Leonard wrote in what “was clearly an effort to steer the ... tournament toward a reputation as young and fun,” PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open organizers enlisted golfers Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler “to make commercials for the event that will be seen over the next few weeks on local television.” Watson and Fowler in the ads “banter about the upcoming tournament, with Watson reminding Fowler that the ‘good looking’ guy is the defending champion.” Fowler, “a pop-style idol with the under-30 crowd, feigns that he can’t remember who that is.” Leonard wrote that it is “good stuff from likely the two biggest draws to the tournament who aren’t named Mickelson.” Shooting the commercials “in September in Chicago at the BMW Championship, the Farmers folks were already all in with the Watson-Fowler promotion, well before they knew that six-time Torrey winner Tiger Woods would skip the ’12 tournament to play in Abu Dhabi” (SIGNONSANDIEGO.com, 12/13).
LOYAL HOME BASE: In Houston, Barron & Crocker noted after the Texans clinched their first playoff appearance on Sunday, fans "piled into Reliant Stadium’s parking lots late Sunday night to welcome the team back home, and some returned before dawn Monday to buy caps and T-shirts celebrating the moment.” Texans coach Gary Kubiak indicated that he “saw fans lined up at 5:30 a.m. Monday outside the Go Texans Store at Reliant Stadium." Barron & Crocker noted the store had "sold most of its playoff-themed inventory by noon.” Aramark Retail Division Manager Chris Inouye said that fans “snapped up about 5,000 caps and T-shirts as of midday Monday, and he expects a shipment of several thousand more items, including some additional designs, before the team plays Sunday" against the Panthers (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/13).
BEHIND THE SCENES: Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin will appear in an upcoming Visa marketing campaign titled, “Go World,” which will be released “in the lead-up to London 2012.” Visa “supports a number of other Team USA athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps, sprinter Allyson Felix and gymnast Alicia Sacramone.” While past “Go World” campaigns also featured Olympians, “these new advertisements will show them preparing for competition for the first time” (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 12/13).
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY: YAHOO SPORTS’ Graham Watson noted the Big East “used the Times Square marquee from sponsor American Eagle Outfitters to announce new members -- Boise State, SMU, Houston, Central Florida and San Diego State.” Each team “had its own welcome and then the conference had a group welcome marquee as well.” Each image “is shown for about 30 seconds and is displayed eight times per hour” but it was only on display yesterday (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/13).