Bridgestone Is Official Tire of The PGA Tour – So What?

Bridgestone now is the official tire of the PGA Tour.

So what. I can’t imagine anyone buying a set of tires based on whether it’s a sponsor of the PGA Tour.  And seeing a bunch of golf related tire advertising isn’t going to change that.

When I need a new set of tires, I go to the local Tire Megamart and pick out a set with the best price/guarantee ratio.  I don’t worry about image or glamour or style. But Bridgestone apparently is convinced it’s going to do some good, for it has plans to “leverage its new affiliation with the PGA Tour through an integrated, multi-media marketing campaign based on the theme ‘Improve Your Drive.’”

In my mind, golf sponsorships work best when they are associated with lifestyle oriented products. Watches, apparel, real estate, vacations, investments—all good. Tires, motor oil, gasoline, screws and nails—bad.

Now, the one thing that Bridgestone has got going is that it also sells golf stuff. So maybe they’re hoping that the tire association will have some spillover into their golf products. But if that’s the case, why not just spend that money promoting the balls and clubs.

I just don’t understand the mind of the marketing major.

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2 thoughts on “Bridgestone Is Official Tire of The PGA Tour – So What?”

  1. Well as someone who works for the company which has it’s name on the official cup of the PGA Tour, I don’t think our marketing guys particularly think you will have an immediate urge to go sending your express packaging with our company—but a lot of it has to do with getting to the corporate buyers.  Our sports marketing folks think that the association with the NBA, NFL, BCS, Nascar, PGA, and Formula One does have a huge impact to our sales.  It might be the most critical piece of our advertising, at least domestically.

    When our Sales directors and VPs take customers to a game or tournament, being a primary sponsor brings perks and access which does have an impact toward making sales.  I would be willing to bet that the local tire dealer who may play a little golf when taken to the tourney in town and gets introduced to Daly or Mickelson by the Bridgestone guy will be a lot more likely to put a few more Bridgestones in his warehouse.

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  2. I don’t think very many people look directly at the association and think “Oh, the PGA official tire! I’ll buy those!”, but I do think it’s about perception. A lot of people are susceptible to getting the impression that a company or a product is “big” because they’ve seen it everywhere. Even to the point of thinking that a brand is a “leading” brand because they’re so familiar with the name and logo.

    When these people get to the store, they don’t think of the PGA, but they think “Oh yeah, I know Bridgestone” (even they they don’t) and I’ve even literally heard “You never see Uniroyal anywhere” even though that company makes lots and lots of great tires (no, I don’t work for them).

    You can’t really change peoples’ thoughts, but you can easily influence their impressions and feelings… and a lot of the time, people buy on their gut.

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