As old-school as the sport of golf is and as stereotyped as the players are for being rich white guys, it seems that the PGA is finally starting to jump on board the social media train. It is easy to see how a game rooted with such deep tradition – and maybe a few old farts – would be hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of these new technology fads. NBA Basketball teams have been selling shirts dawned with players’ Twitter handles and Mississippi State even made an end-zone sized social media ploy when they painted #HAILSTATE during a football game this past season.
At the Northern Trust Open this year, players sponsored by the brand TaylorMade wore hats embroidered with the Twitter hashtag #DriverLove. They launched the campaign through a television ad which aired before the tournament, flashing the hashtag several times throughout the commercial for a new driver. What seems to be the first endorsing of Twitter on the tour has already apparently spawned somewhat of a “cult following,” according to Bob Maggiore, TaylorMade’s chief marketing officer. Also unique to this social media strategy is the goal, which has more to do with “engaging with these bigger, great ideas,” rather than strictly to direct consumers to the brand homes. “Like here,” Maggiore adds, “that it’s okay to love your golf equipment.” Although this is only a minor step toward golf utilizing social media to its full potential, it has to be a step in the right direction toward all of these “old farts” coming around to these new social media fads.