Jason Sobel - October 26, 2012

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After winning The McGladrey Classic, Tommy Gainey received congratulations from many players in person and on social media like Twitter. Players like Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Bob Estes, and William McGirt tweeted their well-wishes to Gainey and it is very interesting to get a perspective on which players are popular not only among fans but also among fellow competitors.

Sobel has heard comparisons between Gainey and John Daly but he does not necessarily agree. While fans buy into the rags to riches storyline which is the case with both players, the fact is that Gainey does not have a controversial personal life while we all know about Daly’s rocky personal life. By all accounts, Gainey is a soft-spoken person with a stable family life and is someone who truly appreciates the life he gets to live on the PGA TOUR.

Just a few years ago, Stewart Cink was one of a small number of golfers on Twitter and many people thought it was cool that Cink was tweeting about what he cooked the previous night. Today, a supermajority of players are on Twitter and they are not only using Twitter as a way to reach out to fans but they are also using the social media site as a way to market themselves and promote their careers as well as their endorsements to a whole new audience.

There has been an online campaign to name Larry Nelson as Captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Several weeks ago, Nelson sat in the Morning Drive studio and explained the circumstances that led to him being passed over as a U.S. Captain. After that appearance, a lot of support began to build for Nelson and it continues to build. We have seen social media campaigns result in people receiving sponsor’s exemptions into tournaments and even invitations to host shows like Saturday Night Live. If Nelson is named Captain, it will be proof that the PGA of America is listening to golf fans and that social media is a truly powerful tool.

In his second visit to Friday’s Morning Drive, Sobel began by talking about the reaction to Jesper Parnevik’s video of he and some family and friends lip-synching to “Gangnam Style.” It has received over 30,000 hits on YouTube and has been getting a lot of buzz.

Many manufacturers including TaylorMade are using social media to promote its products. TaylorMade has used social media to promote the release of its new irons and it has inspired a lot of interaction and activity between the public and the company which TaylorMade hopes will lead to more sales.