Client: Fotoball (San Diego)
PR Team: Formula PR, Sports & Entertainment Division, (Los Angeles)
Campaign: PGA Merchandise Show
Time Frame: January 1-29, 2001
Budget: Less than dollars 20,000
Rawlings, the 113-year-old sporting-goods maker, had dropped its golf
equipment line due to low profits. But it recently found its way back
onto the green when Fotoball USA, a younger, speciality manufacturer
with no brand identity in golf, was awarded a 10-year license to
manufacture and distribute for the company.
Fotoball landed the license in mid-November, just two months shy of the
PGA Merchandise Show, the world's largest golf equipment exhibition,
held in Orlando, FL.
In early January, Formula PR was enlisted to tee off a publicity push at
the show. Dusting off and reintroducing the Rawlings brand was
newsworthy, but Fotoball needed something special to stand out among the
show's more than 1,000 exhibitors.
'The most important goal of appearing at the PGA show was to convey that
Rawlings Golf was returning to the marketplace,' says Matt Kovacs,
account supervisor at Formula.
The new Rawlings line, set to debut in retail outlets later this year,
targets middle-market golf enthusiasts by offering high-quality
equipment at affordable prices.
'At the PGA show, we wanted to make the statement that Rawlings is a
brand to be reckoned with,' says Josh Gold, assistant account executive
To stand out amid the swarm of show exhibitors, Fotoball knew it needed
a campaign with balls - giant balls, in fact - that people couldn't help
but gape at.
Prior to the show, Fotoball held a press conference, and Formula
performed media outreach and developed a press kit.
But the real hook came on January 25, the show's opening day, when
enormous golf balls were mounted atop two Volkswagen Bugs that then
circled the arena throughout the event. And as a kicker, one of the
giveaways was an oversized golf ball - about the size of a softball -
which turned out to be one of the show's more popular favors.
'We knew visitors were going to be flooded with a million different
products,' explains Kovacs. 'We did all the standard PR stuff, but we
wanted to show them something outside the box.'
At the show, which attracted some 55,000 attendees, Nike released a new
line of golf balls and Calloway debuted a dollars 1,000 driver. But for
the most part, according to Kovacs, who attended the event with Gold,
there were not many industry-shaking developments.
Consequently, Fotoball garnered significant media coverage of its
Rawlings equipment, including spots by Sporting Goods Business,
Brandweek, Chicagoland Golf, La Opinion, PGATour.com and several local
'I don't know about before, but (Fotoball) believes in PR now,' says
Kovacs. The company plans to use it to augment a larger advertising
campaign for an upcoming retail launch.