FedEx Cup is the greatest cheesy marketing invention ever: Eat your heart out college football bowl game sponsors
PARAMUS, N.J. - The FedEx Cup is a golf success because it produces star-studded fields in late season events that would never otherwise have them. It’s even more of a home run in terms of in your face marketing though.
In 10 years, they’ll be teaching a sports marketing class on PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem’s deviously clever baby.
This is the one corporate-tagged modern sporting event in an age where every major event has a corporate tag that you cannot help but use the sponsor’s name with. Think about it. Sure every college football bowl game has a brand of chips or motor oil in front of it. But the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the PetroSun Independence Bowl can be shortened to simply the Orange Bowl and the Independence Bowl. And thankfully most sports writers do that on every reference.
But how do you kick the FedEx out of the FedEx Cup? It’s impossible. Call it the Cup and no one will have any idea what you’re talking about. Refer to it as the PGA Tour playoffs and everyone will laugh at you because what real playoffs actually start with more golfers than earn Tour cards. The equivalent would be the NBA not only letting every single team in the league into its postseason but bringing in four European teams too.
There’s no way to talk about the FedEx Cup without calling it just that.
I feel like I’m working for FedEx this week - without those snazzy uniforms or lost packages (my last experience with FedEx consisted of a replacement cell phone that my wife overnighted that never arrived in Minnesota while I spent a week there during the U.S. Women’s Open because FedEx said it couldn’t locate the courier who picked up the package. It’s really made me bitter about the whole Cast Away Tom Hanks FedEx three-hour advertisement myth where he protects those packages with his life even though he’s just been in a plane crash. There were no Tom Hanks service for me as the FedEx phone reps on dry land appeared to be totally unconcerned about my MIA package. But I digress.)
Whether Finchem truly thought this out or not is anyone’s guess. But it’s the stuff of marketing miracles regardless. Finchem made his playoffs just irrelevant enough that no one could call them anything but the FedEx Cup. And they are just good enough that they’ll be written about way more than your average golf tournament. In a way, that’s pure genius.
Dr. Evil would be so proud.
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