PGA Shows Winning Is Academic

DALLAS The PGA Tour next week launches a new campaign from GSD&M called “The Professor” that includes 10 television spots as well as print, Internet and retail ads, the agency said.

The campaign launches during National Football League broadcasts on CBS next week, on NBC during the ADT Golf Skills Challenge Dec. 30-31, on ABC’s PGA Tour Season Preview Show airing New Year’s Eve, within various programming on The Golf Channel, and on ESPN’s prime-time telecast of the Mercedes Championships Jan. 5-8, the agency said.

To represent the myriad variables in golf, the campaign’s mock professor describes fictitious clinical scenarios of life obstacles that are also realities that both PGA Tour players and recreational golfers can relate to, such as man’s inner demons and the forces of nature.

“Tour players are confronted with a new set of obstacles with every shot, with a fine line between success and failure. That creates a great deal of intrigue, drama and excitement among golf and sports fans,” said Ric Clarson, senior vice president of brand marketing for the PGA Tour. “There’s a story in every shot, and every shot counts.”

In one of the ads, “Pressure Seeker,” the professor describes a person who derives satisfaction from extreme pressure situations. While most people succumb to pressure, PGA Tour players are the best in the world at coping with it. The prof suggests these types of individuals, even when dealing with extreme situations, can often appear “cool as a cucumber.”

In “Fan-a-mania,” the professor talks about golf’s unique form of fan obsession. Otherwise normal people turn into obsessive fans, “following their favorite sports heroes around for days at a time,” he says. “Spontaneous outbursts, awestruck looks and uncontrollable clapping” characterize their behavior.

“Dendrophobia” has the prof discussing the fear of trees, rare among the general population but common in even the best golfers. He suggests, “Those afflicted with dendrophobia seek open grassy spaces.”

Based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the PGA Tour is a nonprofit organization that organizes and promotes high-stakes championship tournaments. More than 100 events worth $320 million in prize money were contested on the three tours in 2005. Tour events recently surpassed the $1 billion mark in all-time charitable giving, dating back to 1938.

Campaign spending is undisclosed.

Based in Austin, Texas, GSD&M is an Omnicom Group agency that claims more than $1.4 billion in billings.