Within less than ten days I received two interesting news. The reasons why I found them interesting are finally female + Asian golfers are taken seriously.
The first is Shanshan Feng (first Chinese major tournament winner) signed a sponsorship deal with Buick. It is going to be good for Buick to enforce the already very good image of a luxury car (in China) and as a car of business people.
Feng gained full membership of LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association). To date, she is the only Chinese golf player who has full membership in three of the world’s top tours (Ladies Professional Golf Association, Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association, and Ladies European Tour) and she has won titles in all three tours.
Shanshan Feng is currently ranking 6th in the Rolex World Rankings. So I have to say it was a good decision of HSBC to support and promote golf in China. It just came to my knowledge is also a big supporter of golf in China.
In mid-January, Callaway Golf signed a sponsorship agreement with Lydia Ko. Lydia is a 16-year-old golfer from New Zealand: former World No.1 Amateur and youngest winner ever on the LPGA Tour. As part of her endorsement deal with Callaway Golf, she will play a full complement of Callaway and Odyssey products.
Hereby I would like to emphasize that companies should think beyond simply sponsoring a professional golfer. These sponsored professional golfer should be part of the company's social CRM as well where they are not just the face of the brand in an ad, but who can walk the talk of the brand values and explain why and how to play golf with a specific golf club.
Consumers demand more human touch + dialogues and in real time. Thanks to technical developments it is increasingly feasible. We should think differently about brand visibility and about different kind of visibility.
Can you imagine Tiger Woods tweets in real time during a game? Or explains you via streaming video talk how to swing better or what to do differently?
Such experience can make a difference!