EA Sports ad takes lighter approach to market Tiger
A new EA Sports spot with Woods takes a much lighter approach than the Nike ad that aired during his return to the Masters, his first competition after he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant in November and his personal life started to publicly unravel.
The latest commercial was posted on the Internet by EA Sports on Thursday, the beginning of a major ad campaign for its Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 video game. The commercial is scheduled to air in prime-time Sunday during Game 2 of the NBA finals on ABC.
The ad is filled with humorous references to football and other team sports, an attempt to market the game’s new Ryder Cup team mode. The commercial features Woods and other professional golfers, including Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Edoardo Molinari.
There also is a pep talk by former NFL coach Mike Ditka before Woods sinks a putt, followed by a flyover by jets and an ovation by cheerleaders.
Woods shares the cover of the game with Rory McIlroy of Ireland.
“There certainly is safety in numbers,” said David Carter, professor of sports business at the University of Southern California. “Many brilliant ads have successfully used humor to reach people, and there’s an element of safety to incorporate other people so all the focus isn’t on Tiger.”
This is the first ad with Woods since Nike’s much-talked-about commercial in April.
The serious nature of the black-and-white Nike commercial featured the voice of his late father talking to Woods, who didn’t speak and stared stoically into the camera. The ad shocked some for its use of a dead man’s voice, and it was lampooned countless times on late-night shows and the web.
EA Sports, with a much younger audience, clearly wanted to take a different approach.
“I think you see the world’s No. 1 golfer interacting with a lot of humor with other professional golfers and a cast of others,” said Craig Evans, director of marketing for EA Sports. “We’re out there just trying to change the perception that golf is only an individual sport. But he’s absolutely still heavily involved. Our relationship with him is rooted in golf.”
This is the latest attempt for Woods to regain his footing in the corporate world.
Several of his sponsors, including accounting firm Accenture and telecommunications company AT&T, dropped Woods after his accident set off revelations of infidelity. Those like Nike and EA Sports, which are closely tied to sports, stayed with him.
“Their brands were built by Tiger, so with his role in the game of golf, they’re closely linked to that,” said Darin David, account director for The Marketing Arm agency. “At some point they’re going to have to move on from what happened, and I think a little bit of humor shows that.”
Now the challenge is to reconnect with consumers.
Woods has struggled on the golf course since his fourth-place finish at the Masters, and how well he is received in the coming months is something companies will monitor.
“What’s really going to matter when it comes to sales is if Tiger is winning, because one thing we know about sports fans is that they like winners,” Carter said.
The game will be released Tuesday.
Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)
The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...
And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.
Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas
He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.
Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.
Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.
In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.
Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.
Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.
Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ
Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year
And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.