TaylorMade welcomes Tiger’s influence

tiger social media woods influence taylormade nike

It’s no secret: Tiger Woods brings big value to brands.

Even after a year off—and without a win since 2013—Woods remains one of the most influential athletes, and brands, in sports.

After Nike announced it would discontinue its line of golf equipment in 2016, Tiger made his way back into the conversation. Woods played Nike equipment for the majority of his professional career, but made the switch from Nike official prior to the Farmers Insurance Open.

He teased a “big announcement” on Twitter the Tuesday prior to his first start of 2017, and dropped the news of his switch to Taylormade irons the following day.

The earned media ensued for Taylormade. The teaser tweet and actual announcement were retweeted more than 8 thousand times. Woods’ 6.1 million followers on Twitter are the most of any tour player—Rory McIlroy is the closest with 3 million. The same messages was sent to his 732 thousand Instagram followers.

Woods was no doubt a huge get for Taylormade amidst the changing brand landscape in golf. With Nike out of the equipment game, Taylormade is looking to fill the void.

A big part of Taylormade’s push has come on social media, specifically leveraging the power of players on the Taylormade roster. Jason Day, world No. 1, and Dustin Johnson, No. 3, are both part of the Taylormade lineup. Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, and now Tiger Woods round out a solid five.

Great content has been key, and the distribution has been on point as the 38-year-old brand pushes out its new M-series equipment line.

Golf being so individually driven creates both an opportunity and a challenge for marketers. Just by the nature of being a solo act on and off the course, golfers establish a brand of their own by default. Not only do the three in Taylormade’s #BetterEverything spot above rank in the top-20 in the world, but all three have some of the strongest brands in golf.

It’s not easy to grab headlines in professional golf that gain traction with the casual golf fan–with Woods and Day, the Taylormade lineup has popular appeal beyond the inner circle of golf fans. Finding players with impactful popular appeal can be a challenge marketers face, but it is one Taylormade takes head on.

Potentially more than any other sport, the amateur golfer cares about what equipment the professionals are playing. That is why you see stories published after every tournament detailing what the winner had in the bag.

Timing is so important for any marketer, and there is plenty of opportunity to send the right message at the right time in golf. Winning helps too. Jon Rahm got his first PGA Tour win at the Farmer’s Insurance open, and a little Twitter love to go with it. Of course Taylormade capitalized on the opportunity as well.

A 2016 study done by Twitter and Annelect found nearly 40 percent of Twitter users said they have made a purchase as a direct result of seeing a tweet from an influencer. It also found a 5.2x increase in purchase intent when people are exposed to both brand and influencer tweets.

It’s important to have the best players in golf using your equipment, and equally important to amplify that partnership with the right content at the right time.

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