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January 24, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Timberlake-crafted Callaway ads to debut this weekend

Callaway's new ad campaign, which was featured in Truth & Rumors in December and will air for the first time this weekend, was crafted in part by Justin Timberlake, who was named creative director for the company in December. According to The Wall Street Journal, the ads, featuring trick shots by staff pros on the Vegas strip, are designed to reach a younger audience and spice up Callaway's image.

The marketing effort features golf pros such as Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam using Callaway products to perform jaw-dropping golf feats on the Las Vegas Strip. One TV ad shows golfer Alvaro Quiros on a floating platform on the strip, hitting a golf ball 310 yards over the Bellagio fountain.

In another, several golfers including Ms. Sorenstam hit balls from rooftop to rooftop along the strip. Helicopters fill in for golf carts.

"We wanted to make a statement that was more rock 'n' roll," said Mr. Timberlake, who has been a paid endorser for Callaway for several years but isn't in any of the new ads. Mr. Timberlake worked with Factory Design Labs, a Denver ad agency that began creating the new pitch in April 2011.

Callaway spent far less on advertising in 2011 than rivals TaylorMade and Titleist, The Journal reported, and plans to increase this year's spending by $25 million. Timberlake summed up the company's efforts by saying that Callaway is hoping to give golf a "nice injection of kickassery."

Big fee lures Tiger, but how big was it?
Tiger Woods will be paid between $1.7 and $2.7 million in appearance fees to play in Abu Dhabi this week, according to GolfChannel.com. The article only cites "practice-tee buzz," and Woods did not disclose the amount, but rest assured that this has already been a lucrative trip for Woods.

Vandals strike Texas course
The Pecan Grove Country Club in Richmond, Texas, suffered at least $80,000 worth of damage when carts were stolen and left all over the course, according to Click2Houston.com.

The vandals broke into a golf cart barn and stole more than two dozen carts. Six were submerged in the golf course's water hazards. Eighteen other carts were found parked all over the golf course, including the greens.

Tweets of the Day
Caroline Wozniacki's tough loss in the Australian Open seems to have been softened somewhat by a present from one Irish pro and a compliment from another.

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