LONDON (July 26, 2012) – Timed to tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, Golf Channel will launch a four-year 'Golf Returns to the Olympics' campaign celebrating golf’s return to the Olympics at the 2016 Rio Games after a 112-year absence. The campaign will feature 60-, 30- and 15-second spots with U.S. and international stars unveiling their own Olympic dreams. The initial phase of the campaign starts tomorrow and runs through the London Games. The announcement was made today by Mike McCarley, president, Golf Channel.
'In media, there is nothing as powerful as the Olympic Games and Golf Channel plans to follow the most compelling storylines as golf returns to the Olympics in 2016,' said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. 'We'll tell the stories about which golfers will represent their countries and who will have to stay home. We'll cover the construction of the Olympic golf course in Rio and the profound, positive effect that the Olympics will have on golf’s global growth.'
Golf Channel is joining other networks in the NBCUniversal family promoting the London Olympics, while also looking forward to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when golf will return after a 112-year absence. Golf was last an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St. Louis. The vignettes also will air on NBC Sports Network.
'Golf Returns to the Olympics' features players who compete on the world’s top tours, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and European Tour:
2010 U.S. Women’s Open Champion Paula Creamer (USA) – 'I thought holding the U.S. Open trophy or Solheim Cup was exciting, but wearing a medal would pretty much put the cherry on top of the sundae, that’s for sure.'
2011 PGA Championship Winner Keegan Bradley – 'It would be unbelievable to be able to say that I was an Olympian ... to be able to play for the USA. It would be amazing to compete to try to win a gold medal. It would be a great honor and I hope I get the chance to do it.'
2011 European Solheim Cup Team Member Sandra Gal (Germany) – 'The biggest thing that would go through my mind is that golf was finally an Olympic sport and that I'm able to bring home a bit of that excitement. I'm already trying to support women's and girls' golf in Germany and being able to promote our sport in the Olympic Games would just mean so much to me.'
2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman (South Africa) – 'It would be very exciting to have the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics. Just to be there, the camaraderie with the other athletes … something that I would look forward to.'
Belen Mozo (Spain) – 'Bringing a medal to my country would mean the world to me.'
In addition to the player focused spots, the centerpiece of the initial phase of the Golf Channel campaign will be a 60-second spot celebrating Olympic golf:
What do you call an athlete...
Who works so hard to take a long slow walk?
Who wears a distinctive uniform?
Who knows practice doesn’t always make perfect?
One who stares down pressure just to play on Saturday
and looks to a face in the crowd for strength on Sunday.
What do you call these athletes…
Who swing in silence and land with a roar?
In 2016 …They will be called Olympians.
-NBC Sports Group-