Relevance in Bawdy, Not Quite Co-Marketing

by TedV

The PGA Championship played at the Whistling Straits course in Haven, WI this past week and weekend. Those attending universally declared that the unusual heat and humidity for the area did not dampen the fact that some of history’s best golf was played.

Wisconsin Tourism proclaimed in advance that the state would accrue $80 million or more in revenue from the event. Hotels, restaurants, golf shops and sporting goods stores are the obvious winners, but many visitors stopped at area drug stores, grocers, other retailers, and filling stations to add to the list.

Haven is an hour from the heart of Milwaukee. The city received its fair share of business, particularly its north and east sides. Many businesses drew attention by simply stating on marques or rented signs, “Welcome PGA.”

Co-Marketing is simply defined as two or more businesses deciding to market together to their mutual benefit without forming any sort of official partnership. Being a sport, the PGA has very strict regulations about how anyone can market using anything within the association’s control. Also, individual golfers have their own restrictions on using their names, images, etc., in any marketing.

However, Golfers are public personalities, and anything outside actually playing golf can be fair game if done carefully.

The Bawdy Ad that Needed No Permission

I read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from cover to cover – for the advertising. I read every ad to see what they say and how they say it – for my own critical training and to snoop out prospective clients.

I always brush over the small black and white ad in the back of the Sports section for a local strip joint.

This past week they changed their ad format and location. It was a little larger, in color, and right inside the regular Sports front page.

They were advertising one of Tiger Wood’s mistresses as the feature performer of the week.

Unless you were living under a rock you are aware of Tiger’s recent non-golf related press coverage. The woman in question was named in the general press and can claim the title Tiger’s Mistress along with who really knows how many others. To declare her as such breaks no laws.

Based on the numbers attending this golfing event, and considering there is a percentage of the male population that visits gentlemen’s clubs, I cannot image that the establishment didn’t receive a healthy increase in attendance and spending per client during the championship week and weekend.

I didn’t check for obvious reasons, but I’d be shocked if the club didn’t work the internet for all it could to inform of her performances.

Tiger Woods plays in any number of venues around the world each year. The woman in question can probably make a career for several years to come in this role. I’d be surprised if she isn’t already booked in the higher class establishments of this ilk in each golfing event city for the next year or two.

This is Relevance Marketing of a distasteful, but effective kind. It is an example of exploiting a niche in the populous to advantage.

If the press ever has celebrity-type interest in anything related to your industry, how will you use it to capture the attention and imagination of your customers and prospects?

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