Why Twitter Should Sponsor Phil Bundy on Tour

by mdiehl on March 8, 2009

philbundy5

Halfway through a recent hour-long phone conversation with Phil Bundy, a realization came to me:

Phil Bundy would be the perfect representative for Twitter on the PGA Tour. And Twitter should be his sponsor.

I can see Twitter’s little blue bird logo on Phil’s golf shirt and visor. It would fit so perfectly. Phil fits Twitter. It’s a perfect match for the new Tour.

Before you dismiss this idea, let me make my case:

Phil joined Twitter on November 15, 2008. His blog about his quest to play the PGA Tour is part of a whole utilization of social media — something few players are making a part of their brand. Guys like Pat Perez have cool websites, but Perez doesn’t necessarily write his blog each time. This is understandable: You don’t make hundreds of thousands — or millions — of dollars being on a computer, you make it on the golf course.

Phil chose to engage people in his quest through many avenues — and one of them has been through social media.

In the process, he’s been “overwhelmed” by the response. “It resonates with a lot of people,” he says. “By talking about my quest and the reasons why I’ve chosen to pursue my dream [at 43 -- more about that in a minute], it’s motivating other people to pursue their dreams, too.”

“A year ago, the opportunity to build an audience like this wasn’t there. Not that many people were on things like Twitter,” Phil says.

He utilizes a personal philosophy with Twitter that consists of three main tenets:

  1. It’s better to be interested than interesting. When you talk to Phil, you feel a very genuine interest in who you are as a person. It’s not about what you can do for him. Judging by his blog roll– and the number of blog articles, on line interviews and podcasts that appear on his blog site– he’s making a lot of friends. I’m now one of them. That comes from being truly interested in others.
  2. Conduct yourself on Twitter as you do in person. Be real. Be authentic. If you read Phil’s posts, his character comes across as an intelligent, mature, decent guy who is firmly grounded in reality — after all, he knows very well what he’s up against trying to qualify to play the Tour at 43 against 20-something thoroughbreds who are often right out of college. The guy you tweet on Twitter is the same guy talking to you on the phone, or meeting you in person, or representing you at tournaments and corporate functions.
  3. Use your mind and creativity. I’ve only been on Twitter since January, but it’s become a part of my working day. It’s a living ocean of creative, fascinating people. It brings new ideas to me every day. It’s opened up the world. Phil Bundy knows this too — there may be sponsors out there who will become convinced that he is the kind of player that can bring them exposure and profit. After all, he’s an MBA who’s worked in the golf industry for twenty years. And he’s also got the playing chops as a competitor. A lot of people talk about digital PR — he’s living it and working it now.

But aside from the whole social media aspect — and I think that’s a major innovation in his branding that Twitter should consider — there’s the quality of person that he is.

Whatever you can do, or think you can, do it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

— Goethe

The inspiration for Phil’s “quest” (and I like that he terms it that way. Very Man of LaMancha ) is his little son, Charlie. How can you tell a child he can dream and become anything if you yourself have not experienced having a dream and pursuing it?

Some may feel that being 43 and trying to compete on a national level may be futile: It’s just too late.

Some may ask, why give up a successful career in sports marketing for such risk of failure and no guaranteed paycheck?

Some may scoff at someone who chooses to launch into a sport that is suffering. Sponsors are pulling out. The whole Tour centers on Tiger Woods.

  • I think Phil Bundy has more substance than a lot of young players. He’s seasoned. He’s mature. He’s already had more experiences to learn from, to draw from, to gain balance. He’s tested himself in competition. He’s calculated his odds.
  • He’s a person who believes in giving back. He’s demonstrated that in his work with junior golfers, and in the work he’s doing for his corporate partners.

The Tour life is unlikely to derail this man. He’s got his head on straight. He’s a thinking golfer — but one who knows not to let too much thinking paralyze his flow on the course. He uses words like “reflection” “perspective” and “feedback” in the tools he’s got in his game.

He’s a player that would be awesome in the press tent — eloquent, approachable and a hell of a story.

Most of all, maybe the magic and power in his quest is in inspiring his son — and thousands of others — to be bold and take a step toward whatever dream they have.

After all, Twitter creators — isn’t that what you did in the first place?

What do you think? Should Twitter become a sponsor for Phil on the PGA Tour?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ovidiov March 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm

No doubt, it would be a great idea!!! I got to know about Phik and his quest about Twitter, so I really think that Phill, can be a great example about what twitter is all about!!!

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The Armchair Golfer March 10, 2009 at 5:03 am

Great idea, Marci. Absolutely. Phil Bundy and Twitter would make a great team.

Reply

Marc Sirkin March 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Marci,
Let’s try this again, the first time, my pithy, smart ass comment didn’t take (either that or you didn’t approve it!)

Seriously though, when Twitter figures out their business model (how about that early april fools joke about enterprise accounts today) maybe they will have some money to spend.

As for Phil, any company who doesn’t see the value in backing him is being dumb. I wish Golf is Hard TV had some money cause we’d be in… but alas, we don’t.

Great idea though.. and loved the interview- you totally stole my idea (really!)!

Marc

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admin March 20, 2009 at 10:03 am

Thanks Marc! It just didn’t go through the first time. I appreciate your comment. Sorry if I stole your idea (I didn’t mean to) — it seemed a natural. Who says you can’t do one too? You’re right: It would be a good business move. Phil is a guy who is made to represent. He’s got it all. And I say that without having any connection to him, other than getting to know him. He has his own PR person, Julie Bonn Heath. I’m just a very astute judge of talent and people. I can see success shining on a person. It just takes time, and the effort of that person.

And don’t worry — Twitter will make money. Big time.

Thansk to all who comment on the blog and for visiting. Keep coming back!

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