One of the greatest lines from the classic film Shane comes in the final scene when Shane (played by Alan Ladd) says to young Joey (played by Brandon de Wilde), “A man has to be what he is, Joey. Can’t break the mold. I tried it and it didn’t work for me.”
A great institutional lesson. Embrace what you are. Own it. Live it. Show it to the world.
That’s exactly what the LPGA is doing with its new ad campaign entitled, “A Global Tour Like No Other.” The campaign began this week on Golf Channel prior to the network’s coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. In the initial three spots, players own the fact that the tour holds events in 14 different countries and has players from 32 disparate nations.
One lighthearted ad (Language) touches on the food and language challenges players have while trotting around the globe, while another spot (Global Launch) highlights players from different countries with the tag line, “to be the best in the world, you have to beat the best in the world.” The final ad in the rollout, Next Wave focuses on the sea change in the women’s game.
— LPGA (@LPGA) January 22, 2018
This is an assertive answer to the question: “Is it good to have so many ‘foreign’ players on the LPGA Tour?” Some variation of that question gets asked at least once a month. The subtext – one that’s danced around because it’s jarringly offensive – is, “What’s up with all these Asian players whose names we can’t pronounce?”
Mike Whan, who is far too professional to roll his eyes, usually says something like, “We are a global tour that includes the best players from all over the world.” This campaign embraces that and shows viewers why the best female golfers from 32 countries should be celebrated, not questioned.
“Two distinct themes have emerged on the LPGA Tour,” said Jon Podany, the LPGA’s chief commercial officer. “(The tour’s) truly global nature and the approachability and accessibility of its players. The LPGA is uniquely golf’s global tour.”
That is what the LPGA is. Can’t break the mold. In fact, you shouldn’t try.