PING was happy to announce early this week, the extended multi-year sponsorship agreements with Lee Westwood (official world golf ranking: 51st), Andy Sullivan (became pro in 2011; Official world golf ranking: 37th) and Brandon Stone (became pro in 2013; Official world golf ranking: 116th; his 1st ever victory: The BMW SA Open).
As part of the agreements, Westwood, Sullivan and Stone will all wear PING hats, use PING staff bags and play a minimum of 11 PING clubs, including a PING driver and putter.
- CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters – won it 2015;
- Thailand Golf Championship – won in 2014, 2011;
- Maybank Malaysian Open – won in 2014.
As it happens in many cases of top brand ambassadors (e.g. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson), in the case of Lee Westwood, I have not heard that he would be involved in product design (only in testing). Such level of cooperation could lend real credibility to the brand and ambassador partnership. Is it a sign that PING has different long-term plans that exclude Lee Westwood?
Another issue to consider for PING: How will they use branded content and brand owned content in 2016?
Red Bull Media House (was launched in 2007) is a good example of brand-owned content. This is not just about building awareness, but how to become a thought leader. Marketers should move beyond creating content for the core customers into creating content for influencers. Think also about how to create ongoing engagement with your customers!
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