Matt Cizmar, brand director for TaylorMade in Canada, admits that the company was rolling the dice by including Toronto in its Speed Pocket World Challenge, which also included golfers in London, New York and San Francisco last week.
Yet, the lure of participating in a global event was extremely tempting. This is a company that sent employees to test adidas golf wear in extreme conditions around the world, which you can read more about here.
It’s also a company that had its R11 driver attached to the right field foul pole for San Diego Padres game, a promotion you can read about here.
Working with Golf Town,,the Speed Pocket World Challenge also fell into that category of going beyond traditional promotional vehicles as golfers in Toronto competed with those in the other cities taking swings with a conventional six iron and one from TaylorMade’s new SpeedBlade irons.
In New York, the famous Times Square videoboards displayed the global leaderboard and names such as European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, golf instructor Hank Haney and LPGA Tour player Anna Nordqvist took part in the various locations, which included Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza.
You can read more about it here, but the lure, according to Cizmar, “was the ability to be involved with a global event, which means from a PR perspective, from a media coverage perspective, from a social media perspective, everything is going to be hitting on all cylinders at that point of the year.
“Would we have liked it to have been a little later in Canada? Yeah, I think so, but we didn’t get to choose the date,” said Cizmar, balancing that with the attention the event received on social media such as Twitter.
“It’s done in a different way than just having 10 more ads on the weekend on a televised PGA (Tour) event,” he said.
“There’s no doubt the traditional media is part of the mix and we continue to spend and engage in that sense,” he added.
“It was really cool to be part of a global event like that and make sure the Canadian flag and TaylorMade Canada was engaged with an event that really promotes not only the technology in SpeedBlade, but promotes the game to some degree and says how close we are to a great season,” said Cizmar.
The lure of golf season worked in TaylorMade’s favour, according to Cizmar, who points out that they caught a break with the weather as golfers weary from the bitter winter that has gripped most of Canada sought a break.
“There’s no doubt that putting on an event like that in downtown Toronto came with its own risks in terms of weather,” he said.
“We got such a great day in terms of the weather. It was eight to 10 degrees outside. We had a lineup starting at about 7:30 in the morning. It went all the way to 7 at night. At minimum, there was a half hour wait most of the day, lunch hour was even longer,” said Cizmar.
“There was a combination of people,” he said.
“Obviously, people wanted to get engaged with this global event that we had going across the four cities in North America, Europe and Canada and further to that, just get out and be engaged with something like that in downtown Toronto on on one of the best days we’ve had in I don’t know how long,” he added.
“Even though they were waiting a little bit in line to get involved with the contest, everybody came in and said, `Wow, this is so cool. I can’t wait to get on the links again,’ and it got people in the frame of mind that there’s an end to all of this,” said Cizmar.
It was a risk, but as it turned out, the timing couldn’t have been better to get the message out about a new product.