Emotional Marketing Tees Off

By Adam BarrAugust 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
Now, dont go all emotional on me.
 
Or maybe you should. Golf, as we know, is an emotional game. Anyone who has gone bogey-bogey-birdie to push a match into extra holes understands this. Even the little bit of redness in a drive on the hole after a three-putt green qualifies. And most of us have memories, those most emotional things, of excellent golf days with fathers, mothers, uncles, friends, etc.
 
DRIVE Marketing
DRIVE Marketing hopes this direct mail piece will fill tee sheets.
So it makes sense that advertisers and marketers would want to appeal to our emotional side.
 
Golfers have incredibly strong emotional connections to the game, says Tom Meyers, chief strategy officer for DRIVE Marketing, an Atlanta-area firm that is trying to use emotion to make golf marketing more effective.
 
These connections influence every purchase decision they make, from what kind of clubs they buy to where they play, Meyers says. Most golf courses are missing this emotional connection in their marketing. Theyre wasting a lot of advertising dollars.
 
Meyers has a point. Open the sports section of the newspaper in most cities, page to the back, and youll find a handful of three-inch ads, each touting a track with well-used nuggets such as championship course, challenging greens and available for your next golf event.
 
Sixty-seven hundred yards and bent greens are nice, but it doesnt really resonate with people, says Dave Nies, Meyers colleague at DRIVE. Most every golf course has a photo that looks nice that they can put in an ad. But so many of them look and feel the same. We can help them stand out.
 
DRIVE is driving a new nail with an old hammer: direct mail. By targeting golfers within a 30-mile radius of a course (surveys show that most people will drive no farther than that to play) with an effective direct mail piece, DRIVE hopes to help courses do a better job of filling tee sheets. And to be fair, that new nail has an even sharper point: personalization. Modern printing technology allows each recipients name to be featured in an arresting way within the direct mail presentation. For instance: the recipients name appears on a tournament leaderboard, strokes ahead of challengers, or on the bib of a tour caddie.
 
Remember the movie Minority Report, in which Tom Cruises character enters a mall and a holographic recording plays a personalized ad suggesting products he might like (based on a database of his buying behavior, of course)? DRIVE is proposing the same thing, only without the sinister Big Brother overtones. Meyers has been around the golf industry and with Russell Athletics; he and his partners have assembled what they call a robust database of golfers who live within that magic radius of many potential golf course clients. The personalization plus the database yields a more saturated (ad speak for likely to respond) target.
 
You can put an ad in a newspaper and get a lot of eyes on it, Meyers says, but not all of those people are golfers. With what were doing, you can be sure that every person who sees this thing is a golfer.
 
Hard to argue with that kind of saturation. But golf course operation, especially below the multi-course, corporate-owned level, has a reputation for a sizable population of stick-in-the-muds. Their avoidance rallying cry: cost. But at about 99 cents per piece plus postage, with the entire service provided by DRIVE, Meyers figures the cost is manageable, especially in light of the geographical spread data and the saturation of golfers in the target group.
 
This kind of marketing is not entirely new. For years, major brands such as Coca-Cola, Apple, General Motors and scores of others have downplayed product and worked up feeling and emotion as a way to motivate consumers. Beer ads are a perfect example. The emotion there is good times and humor; very few beer ads discuss product features and benefits anymore (light beer may be an exception). Bottom line is, emotional marketing can pump the bottom line.
 
The DRIVE program is in its early stages, but American Golf Corp., the largest course management company in the United States, is giving it a try. Geneva, Ill.; Sunbury, Ohio; Riverhead, N.Y. and Annandale, N.J. are test markets. And even though quite a bit of equipment marketing is already fairly emotional, Meyers sees potential there too.
 
Our product would be perfect for, say, a driver introduction, Meyers says.
 
Youll have to excuse me. Im getting a little bit emotional here.
 
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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.