PGA LAUNCHES $20 MILLION AD CAMPAIGN

Spots Air During Broadcast of NFL and NCAA Games

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- The Professional Golfer's Association Tour has launched a $20 million ad campaign to highlight its upcoming season.

The campaign, from the PGA's longtime agency, Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, uses the tagline "These Guys Are Good" for the sixth consecutive year, currently the longest-running ad tagline for a professional sports league. But the twist in the campaign this year is that each of the humorous spots will focus on four of the nearly 2,000 charities that benefit from the tour and its events.

Generate publicity
The tour is approaching the $1 billion mark in charitable giving and is looking to generate awareness of the milestone. The spots began appearing this past weekend on National Football League playoff games, college basketball games and other sports programming, including ESPN's SportsCenter telecasts.

"One of the core assets of our business has been the whole premise of giving back," said Jon Podany, vice president of brand development for the PGA Tour. "We felt like we had this campaign that was working so well, and if we applied that to the charitable message and broadened the meaning, we could translate that these guys are good, and that these are also good guys."

Local charities benefit
The PGA actually sponsors three separate tours -- the main PGA Tour, the Champions Tour for players over the age of 50, and the Nationwide Tour for rookies and qualifiers -- with more than 100 combined yearly tournaments. The tournaments are set up as nonprofit events from which revenues are sent directly to local charities.

Players featured in this year's sports are Ernie Els, Jerry Kelly, Chad Campbell, Jesper Parnevik and Duffy Waldorf, a mix of established veterans and up-and-coming stars. The four charities spotlighted are the Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brother/Big Sister of America, and Habitat for Humanity.

"This was another way to keep the campaign fresh and another way of showcasing the players," said Kent Simon, account director at GSD&M. "We tried to leverage the personality of the players in the spots."

The spots
All four commercials were shot last November at the tour's penultimate event of the season in Tampa, Fla.

  • In "Math," Mr. Els is a teacher conducting a math lesson at the blackboard of a local Boys & Girls Club. He asks his a group of children, "What does 4+4+3+4+5+2+4+3 equal?" Most of the kids are confused and counting on their fingers, but one bright young student raises her hand and proudly proclaims "3-under par!"

  • In "Hammer," Mr. Kelly is helping to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. As he prepares to hammer a nail, a worker raises his hands and says, "Quiet, please," as Kelly takes a full swing at the nail. Mr. Kelly gets a round of applause, and then hands off his hammer to his caddy.

  • In "Jesper's Clothes," Mr. Parnevik -- famous for his outrageous outfits -- goes to the Salvation Army to make a donation. He holds up a pair of pink pants and bright green-and-white shoes and says to the cashier, "These I wore when I won in Dallas. And when you go to Augusta, these shoes will rock." On his way out, he passes fellow tour pro Mr. Waldorf, who is seen secretly modeling Mr. Parnevik's fashions at the close of the spot.

  • Finally, in "Sandbox," which highlights the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Mr. Campbell is playing in a sandbox with a group of small children. He obliges when one of them asks to be pushed on the swings, but hesitates and turns back to the sandbox to rake the sand after they leave.
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