Tiger Woods used a Bridgestone Tour B XS ball to win the The Masters, and now the ball maker is "saying congratulations by releasing a special box of those balls," according to David Dusek of GOLFWEEK. The commemorative TW Wrap box ($44.99) will "hit store shelves" on Friday. Bridgestone said that it "started selling the special boxes to stores last week, and within 24 hours they sold out." In fact, Bridgestone said that "every Tour B XS ball it has made has been sold to retailers" (GOLFWEEK.com, 4/22). ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren noted Bridgestone "doesn't yet know whether its exposure in the Masters and with Woods will translate to long-term sales, but it is anticipating increases based on the consumer interest displayed already." Bridgestone Golf President & CEO Dan Murphy said, "We're pretty excited to see the order bank starting to increase. I'd say for the specific models that (Woods) plays, we're looking at 20 to 30 percent we can bump up the sales on that product." After the Masters, Bridgestone saw a 209% increase in engagement on Twitter, a 400% increase on Facebook and a 205% increase in website traffic as compared to last year's Masters week (ESPN.com, 4/22).
PATIENCE PAYS OFF: SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL's Liz Mullen notes Woods' longtime agent Mark Steinberg is "focused on rewarding the sponsors who weathered the golfer’s tough times" more than looking for new partnerships. Steinberg said, “We have a number of things in the works." He added, “Rather than what we are going to do going forward for future partners, to me, it’s about the existing partners. The people who have stuck by him and given him the love and given him the respect he deserves. So we want to continue to give back to them" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/22 ISSUE).
Hospitality and ticketing firm QuintEvents has signed its first NFL deal, making it the Lions' fan travel package provider. Quint will allow the team to create Detroit Lions Experiences and market travel programs that will include tickets, airfare, transportation and parties. Quint is trying to negotiate similar arrangements with other NFL teams, sources said. The Lions' incumbent provider was PrimeSport, which was acquired by On Location Experiences in '17. QuintEvents' other property deals include arrangements with F1, the UFC, the CFP, the Kentucky Derby, Breeders' Cup, Belmont Stakes, Barrett Jackson and The Players.
The NFL has a "new batch of commercials" for this week's Draft, which highlight "current players who are mentoring draftees," according to Katherine Fitzgerald of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The NFL partnered with its new lead creative agency 72andSunny, L.A., to develop a campaign that "draws on the star power of veteran players while looking to the future." Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald is "one of the players featured," and he has a message for Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf. Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray is another recipient of advice, as Cowboys QB Dak Prescott "brushes away concerns about size." Texans QB Deshaun Watson also gives advice to Alabama RB Josh Jacobs. The mentors also include one retired player: former Steelers WR Hines Ward (AZCENTRAL.com, 4/22).
BEHIND THE SCENES: NFL Senior Dir of Social Content Dave Feldman, who is profiled in today's Social Studies, said the campaign is "really important" to NFL CMO Tim Ellis. Feldman: "It's all about bridging generations." Feldman noted both Watson and Jacobs "had rough childhoods and overcame similar challenges." One other mentor pairing is Browns WR Jarvis Landry with Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown. Feldman: "We want to show these players as people first" (Preston Bounds, THE DAILY).
Corner Bakery and Drake’s Organic Spirits are among five new national sponsors signed by the AVP heading into the ’19 season. Also joining for the first time are Stella Rosa wine, cold sore ointment brand Aubio Life Sciences and Essentia Water. They join returning sponsors Wilson, Kona Brewing Co., Hydro Flask, Rox Volleyball, Hawaii Tourism, Monster Hydro and KT Tape. Two national sponsors did not return from ’18 -- Boston Beer’s Truly Spiked & Sparkling hard seltzer and Paramount & Co. Coming in as regional sponsors for the year are Athletic Brewing Co. (non-alcoholic beer), Tentera coffee, Rockwell watches and KIND Bars, along with returning regional sponsors Brew Dr. Kombucha, Klenskin, Powercrunch, Frontier Communications, JBL and McKenna Auto Group. The AVP season starts May 3-5 in Huntington Beach, Calif., and continues with stops in Austin; N.Y.; Seattle; Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Chicago; and Honolulu.