Can Justin Timberlake bring 'sexy back' to Callaway
The award winning entertainer is using his creative talents to help Callaway in its marketing activities
Published on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 10:10AM EST Last updated on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 10:25AM EST
BRINGING SEXY BACK: Justin Timberlake has been hired as the Creative Director for the Callaway portfolio of Brands. In other words, he’s going to try and bring the ‘sexy back’ to the Callaway brand which has been struggling the past few years.
The title is largely ceremonial but as part of the multi-year agreement with the entertainer and long time golfer, Timberlake will “engage in the development and execution of high-level concepts within Callaway's marketing activities and offer wide-ranging consultation on the visual representation of the Brand”.
First up Timberlake will work with the creative staff to support Callaway’s 2012 RAZR line of premium golf equipment, which will be launched in the first quarter of next year. Callaway is currently shooting parts of the “Epic Demo” campaign in Las Vegas, using several iconic city landmarks, including the Bellagio Fountain.
Timberlake, who became the first non-tour player to join Callaway’s team of Staff Professionals in 2008, says he hopes to bring a fresh perspective “focusing on the social aspects, fun and lifestyle associated with Callaway and playing golf.”
Timberlake currently plays host to the PGA’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open event in Las Vegas and along with his parents, owns and operates Mirimichi, a world-class championship golf course and learning facility near his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.
Under new CEO Tony Thornley, Callaway plans to funnel $25 million in savings from recent cost cutting efforts toward additional marketing and promotion - something that’s been lacking over the last few years.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: USGA rules official Peter Blaisdell was enjoying a quiet evening at home recently when he received a phone call from a woman whose husband was in the late stages of pancreatic cancer and needed to get something off his chest. Blaisdell picks up the story from here:
“A man came on the phone and said Pete, you probably don't remember me but I used to play in a number of USGA qualifiers back in the 90's. The name did ring a bell but I really could not place him. He said that there was a ruling at a Public links qualifier at Gardner municipal [Mass.] where there was a difference of opinion on a situation where two players had a heated discussion concerning a ball moved after address on the putting green.The man on the phone was the player involved and his fellow competitor was adament that the ball had moved. I was not the first official but was brought in as a second opinion because the first official was not sure how to rule on this. It came down to a simple he said-he said and I ruled for the player accused..
The man on the phone said I have pancreatic cancer, I've been in the hospital for 7 weeks, nothing can be done, I came home to die. I want you to know that the ball did move and I cheated. I have carried this with me for years and I wanted to get it off my chest. It is the reason I stopped playing golf because I was so ashamed of myself. It is the only time in my life I cheated and I want to tell you I'm sorry that I lied to you and the other player”
Blaisdell told the man he would accept his apology, adding that it took a lot of guts to make the call he did.
BOOM BABY: Jeff Overton will likely be getting some coal in his Christmas stocking from PGA commissioner Tim Finchem. Overton was back in his home state of Indiana last weekend, presenting a $50,000 check to his alma mater Indiana U to support the Play Golf America program. While there he also took in the Indiana-Kentucky basketball game. It was after the game when things went awry, according to the Evansville Courier & Press:
“According to a police report, officers said Overton was yelling at people from a limousine that blocked traffic in front of Kilroy’s Sports Bar on Walnut Street.
Later, the limo carrying Overton pulled up next to Bloomington police, and officers report Overton was yelling at people on the street again. Police pulled the limousine over.
The newspaper reported that Overton repeatedly refused to give his ID to police and refused to step out of the limo. A police report described Overton’s behavior as “belligerent,” and he reportedly told officers “he wasn’t going to do anything.” Police say he smelled of alcohol, his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred.
Overton was removed from the limo and eventually handcuffed on the ground, a policeman said.
As police were arresting Overton on the public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges, Overton fought and pulled away from police. Overton continued to yell at other people, attempted to “wrench” away from police, and refused to give a form of ID to police, an officer told the newspaper.”
Overton faces three misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He was released on a $500 bond and says he plans to challenge the charges, claiming his rights were violated. “I’m sitting in my own limo and got pulled out,” he tells the newspaper.
This is not the first time Overton has been arrested for public intoxication. A 2007 charge was dismissed and separate charges in 2001 and 2003 were also dismissed after he paid a fine and underwent pretrial diversion programs.
It remains to be seen if the PGA will take any action against Overton in the form of a suspension for conduct unbecoming a professional. The PGA does not make it a policy of announcing disciplinary measures taken against its players.
FRED FOR [RYDER CUP] CAPTAIN: Tiger Woods used his final blog of the year to stump for Fred Couples as a future Ryder Cup captain. After Couples basically took the brunt of criticism for naming Woods to the Presidents Cup team months before he needed to use one of his two captains picks, Woods rewarded him by playing some of his better golf this year ultimately clinching the cup in his singles match.
“I've heard people question whether Fred would be a good Ryder Cup captain, and I just don't get it. I think that Fred is a great captain. Whether it's The Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup, it doesn't matter.
“The way he keeps us loose and how much fun we have -- it's just great to play for him. He's a lot more competitive than people realize. He just doesn't show it. He shows it with us around, but the public doesn't see it.”
Other revelations from Woods: Matt Kuchar is by far the best ping-pong player among pro golfers and Tiger will be the honorary captain at the Stanford - Oklahoma State Fiesta Bowl game on January 2nd.
GOLF SLUMP: A recent report shows fewer and fewer rounds of golf are being played in the United States. The National Golf Rounds Played Report showed a 6.5 percent drop in October and a 3.8 percent decline for the year-to-date.
Private facilities took the brunt of the hit with an 8.8 percent drop in rounds played while public-access courses showed a 5.9 percent drop. When looking at the regional breakdown, only the Pacific region - California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington - showed a modest increase of 3.3 percent in October but was still down for the year by 0.7 percent.
2011 will mark the fifth consecutive year the number of rounds played has fallen. In the past decade, the total rounds-played has decreased from 518 million to 475 million.
"I definitely don't feel invincible, but I feel that every time I tee it up I've got a good chance of shooting a good score. Everything seems stress-free, although it's not going to last for ever." - Rory McIlroy