THE NEW PLAYER POWER
The surge in popularity of social media has given these top golfers huge influence
Star Power: If Rickie wins a major, he will rival Rory for commercial appeal. He looks and sounds like the 20-somethings golf needs to attract: Who else could pull off Puma high tops and look so effortlessly cool?
Social buzz: Rickie is golf’s king of Instagram, the head of the bromancers who share their lives across social media, reaching more people than Golf Channel. He announced his Olympic selection on Twitter.
Star Power: Rory’s elevation to Tiger’s replacement as the pitch man de jour was made when EA replaced Tiger’s image with Rory’s on the PGA Tour game. He has a quality shared by very few millionaire celebrities, which is that he appears to be normal. That’s valuable.
Social Buzz: With 3.1 million Twitter followers, McIlroy is the first major star to have grown up with social media and it shows. It’s where he lives.
Star Power: Coca Cola and Under Armour were quick to sign up Jordan as the new face of golf. He exudes old world charm and common sense, with a life beyond the fairways that recalls the personable style of Arnold Palmer.
Social Buzz: Spieth is not a ‘natural’ tweeter, using the medium to announce deals and sponsor mentions, which is boring and feels a bit PR heavy. It’s time to let the real Jordan free.
Star Power: World No.1 and a great talker who has signed with Nike. In commercial terms he’s not in the same league as his new stablemate Rory McIlroy but his popularity among sponsors will grow quickly if he wants it to, which given he seems very happy as he is, is a big question.
Social Buzz: A lightweight when compared to the other three. He has 422,000 Twitter followers and fewer on Instagram. Nike will want to see those numbers go up.