During this weeklong run-up to the Masters Tournament, the press generates stories to fuel fan interest around the storied Augusta National Golf Club (yes, by unspoken law you must describe that course as either ‘storied’ or ‘legendary’–‘unflinchingly white’ is not acceptable). Yesterday’s headline followed the classic chestnut ‘young rebel vs. creaky old establishment.’ No, Hootie Johnson was not involved, instead the teacup controversy centered around twenty-year old, 2010 PGA Rookie of the Year Rickie Fowler and his youthful proclivity for turning his cap around whenever he’s interviewed. That is a huge no-no because country clubbers get obsessive about things like ‘proper golf attire.’
That said, it’s totally accepted that today’s professional golfers range over the fairways like so many polyester NASCAR’s, unable to compete wearing anything that’s not noticeably embroidered with logos and catchphrases from their various sponsors. For Rickie, the face of Puma Golf, that means a wardrobe tinted with all the subtly of an Easter Egg basket. No one buys Puma anything for the brand’s sports credentials; the cat logo signifies a fashion brand and like most fashion, it aims at a younger market. And Puma loves their Bieber-esque young star, creating an ad around his much celebrated background in California motocross…
But it’s not an ad, not really, unless the cable networks are now selling fifty-three second long ad units. No, when it comes to advertising media spends, yesterday’s non-story was Puma’s big investment, covered and seen by more people than the video above which primarily resides on YouTube and their website.
PR and advertising–that’s the new convergence. Much like oversized ball caps in gumdrop colors are the new black.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, OLSON