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.
Although Lee Westwood has not won since 2010 on the PGA Tour and on the European Tour since 2014, he still proves his mightiness in other tournaments:
- 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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