Was there ever a bigger dream moment for a sponsoring company than the 2005 Masters in which Tiger Woods chipped in from 40 feet away on the 16th hole at Augusta National?
Check out the number of Nike swooshes you see in this clip from that memorable moment, including the ball which hung precariously for a second on the lip of the cup before finally dropping.
Mind you, Tiger bogeyed the last two holes of the final round and almost gave it away to Chris DiMarco before finally winning in a playoff.
Most importantly, Woods had his fourth green jacket and added another major championship to his total, which has stalled for over eight years at 14.
It is important to associate your brand with success and Woods, throughout his legendary career, became synonymous with Nike, which announced last year that it was getting out of hard goods, but continuing in apparel and footwear.
That set off a flurry of speculation about what clubs would be used by which free agent from Nike and every time Tiger or Rory McIlroy picked up a club, it was cause for a headline.
Add to that the fact that Lydia Ko, the world No. 1 female player, moved from Callaway to PXG, and Jason Day, the top male player in the world, is now decked out in Nike, but will continue to play TaylorMade, and there’s been plenty of attention paid to who’s playing what and who’s wearing what.
For GNN purposes, I’ll make note of such high-profile moves in a blog or story and do the same if a Canadian player receives a new endorsement deal, but beyond the top stars and homies, interest from the industry and consumers is limited or non-existent.
From a company’s perspective, having its logo on a bag, chest, sleeve or hat is good for advertising and huge if that player is in contention coming down the stretch of a tournament. In the Tiger clip, for example, you get a good view of the PING logo on DiMarco’s hat.
However, ads are usually focused on the marquee names in any particular stable and beyond the game’s luminaries, most observers would be hard-pressed to name the brands associated with most players, except for maybe a few diehard gearheads.
Personally, I’m more inclined to listen to somebody who has remained with a company over the years because it gives off the perception of believing in that company’s products and technology as opposed to somebody who moves around a lot.
This year, there are extenuating circumstances with Nike getting out of hard goods, but mostly, I would describe all of the movement by players between companies at this time of year as a passing interest on my part.
Does it matter to you? That’s our question in this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always feel free to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.
How would you describe your interest level in player endorsements and movement between companies at this times of year?
- Passing interest. (54%)
- Very interested. (24%)
- No interest at all. (22%)