As far as sponsorship goes, Golf is a pretty cluttered marketplace and one dominated by Financial Services brands and sports apparel. It is rare to see a fairly straight, corporate brand letting go a little bit and doing something fun.
PGA Tour players Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Hunter Mahan, with just a little help from musician Con Bro Chilli, have created a music video. Yes, a music video. With a real track. On iTunes and everything.
Posted just at the start of this week, at the time of writing Oh Oh Oh by The Golf Boys had already garnered over a million views.
As Brand Channel reported earlier this week, the video is rapidly going viral, with a feature on PGATOUR.COM as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages. The video can also be seen on Ben Crane’s YouTube channel, and website.
The Sponsorship Story (via BrandChannel): “The fact that State Farm is sponsoring Ben Crane’s group and video shows the expanding relationship between the two. That relationship dates back to Crane’ victory at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open. Since then, Crane has partnered with Farmers and Farmers’ parent company, Zurich Financial Services, and he also sports the Zurich or Farmers logo on his golf cap, depending on the tournament.”
But for me, what takes this from being a ‘plum stoopid’ stunt (in the words of @One_Off_Olly) to a cute piece of marketing is the charity/viral element. The video is positioned as ‘presented by’ Farmers Insurance but what I love is that for every 100,000 views Farmers will donate $1,000 to charitable proceeds that will support both Farmers and Ben Crane charitable initiatives.
Why is this so neat? The charity element, built on the basis of viral value (each view on YouTube equates to 1c from Famers to charity) gives users a tangible role in helping the cause. And even better, its not from their own pocket, but from the ‘big bad’ corporate entity. Some will be inclined to re-watch numerous times just to stick one up at the Man – and it’s win win for Farmers because the more people that view and click, the more promotion they get as a genuine supporting partner. But most will be watching for pure comedy value because, frankly, it’s hilarious.