PGA's Wesley Bryan Planned to Use Taco Bell Branded Golf Balls During Tour Event
Since their exorbitant earnings often place professional athletes under extreme pressure to excel, I have often found myself drawn to learning about what fuels their efforts, with some of the eating habits breeding superstitions that have made me smile. (Keep eating grilled cheese, Claude Giroux, because maybe your hunger can help us Philadelphians quench our thirst for a Stanley Cup title.) If an endorsement deal results from an infatuation, that can prove even more fascinating, as the partnership can compel a performer and a business to implement compelling ideas to build their respective brands. Hoping to become legend on the links, PGA tour presence Wesley Bryan has already displayed marketing guile through his penchant for Taco Bell, with the 27-year-old having recently struck customized Callaway Chrome Sift Truvis balls at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
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The South Carolina product and his peers headed to Scottsdale for the Jan. 29-Feb. 4 tournament dubbed The Greatest Show on Grass, with Bryan, whose April 2017 RBC Heritage victory inspired a Taco Bell run that eventually yielded a sponsorship, looking to compel end-users to show their love for the California-based company. The balls gave additional proof that nobody will ever have to suggest that Bryan needs to come out of his shell, as the projectiles are the marketing predecessors of a Taco Bell belt he donned in September (here’s hoping accountants crunched some serious numbers on the strength of that product placement). They also marked yet another admirable attempt by a food-centric establishment to use merchandise to gain stronger footing in the business world. To do so, Taco Bell teamed with Callaway for an all-out social media blitz through which four winners each received a sleeve of balls.
There are two slightly sad elements, though, that one could see as putting a damper on what must certainly count as a far-above-far brainchild. Bryan, the 2016 Web.com Tour Player of the Year, failed to make the cut in Arizona, and, therefore, missed out on an extended opportunity to tackle the course and give the golf balls greater exposure. Also, a little more than a week before the tournament, he took to Twitter to tell his followers he would be undergoing tests for food allergies, informing them the next day, after learning of lactose issues, that “Crunchwraps will not be the same without cheese and sour cream.”
One can definitely feel for the man, but let’s accentuate the positive. He was able to compete using a pretty inventive ball, and four people claimed their own versions of said novelty. I would love to learn the identity of the winners. If they would not mind dealing with me as I triple-bogey most of the holes, (and why would they struggle to be tolerant—at least they would score an easy win), I would love to shout “Fore!” among them and then make like Bryan by running for the border.