Oakley Kicks Off Golf Season At FBR Open

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Imagine 170,000 fans on a Saturday afternoon going crazy at a sporting event; now envision that taking place at a PGA Tour tournament. Hard to picture, well then you have not experienced the FBR Open. Kicking off Oakley Golf’s 2009 PGA presence, the brand returns to the rowdy grounds of the TPC at Scottsdale for the four-day tournament. Known for having the largest and loudest gallery of fans for any golf tournament on the PGA Tour, the FBR Open is the perfect arena for our brand to activate around. With Arizona State University just down the road from the TPC at Scottsdale, the crowds are a perfect fit for Oakley Golf’s yearly initiatives and success stories. (Check the photos from yesterday’s pre-tournament action)

For the past four years Oakley has provided the golf community at the FBR Open with a true taste of our program. In 2009 Oakley has stepped up to be the official footwear and eyewear sponsor of the “infamous” 16th hole (stadium hole). We will have signage on the main tunnel going into the stadium and hole marker locations. If you have not seen what happens on the 16th hole, I highly suggest you catch the action this week on ABC.

The 16th hole is a par 3 that is set up similar to an old baseball stadium from yesteryear with grandstand bleachers creating a horseshoe around the hole, VIP Booths up above, and a large standing crowd of several thousand posted up behind the green. And in true baseball form, the announcer introduces each player to the tee box, which produces cheers that can be heard from three holes away. Once the player makes contact with his tee shot the crowd begins to chant and based upon the success of the shot will be cheered or booed incessantly until making it to the green. The local ASU students make their own signs, produce there own chants and at times are known to throw beer on players. To say this is a typical PGA Tour stop would be quite the understatement.

One of Oakley’s strongest backgrounds has always been grassroots on-site activation at sporting events, and this year is no different. We will have 1,000 foam fingers, 400 t-shirts, 15,000 cocktail napkins, 10,000 drink cups on-site that only the FBR crowd could properly utilize. Look for ASU students to be waving foam fingers and wearing the custom t-shirts on the 16th grandstand bleachers this weekend on ABC.

As we have in past years, Oakley is the official sponsor of the Greenskeeper venues (beer gardens) on the 18th fairway and main concession area. One of the best people watching spots on the course has to be the Greenskeeper venues, from young college co-eds looking to party to VIPs of the major brands supporting the PGA Tour and it’s players can all be seen mingling together. The amount of branding these areas provide Oakley is unmatched by any other major sporting event we sponsor. This includes all fencing, tents, canapés, and working staff wearing our apparel, eyewear and accessories.

Along with excellent branding, Oakley we have amazing merchandise locations for on-site sales, from A+ positioning at all merchandise tents to all seven Pro/Am locations at the FBR Open with over $100,000 in product sales. Speaking of sales, Oakley will have a 44-person VIP skybox located on the 16th hole, which includes free food and drink all day for visiting reps and key accounts. And in true Oakley fashion, we will be the only skybox where our VIP visitors will have access to the Greenskeeper Party venues with the Oakley Super Pass. In addition, we will have 28 VIP tickets to just the Greenskeeper venue, which include free food and drink all day for our visiting reps and key accounts. To accommodate other Oakley friends and family the brand has 1,000 General Admission tickets to the grounds for the week.

To cap off our sales support, Oakley has rented out eight houses for the reps and key accounts from around the country to enjoy. These key accounts are being flown into Phoenix to be wined and dined for the four-day tournament. Keeping it safe we have three shuttle vans available so that our visitors will travel in safety and comfort while visiting the greater Phoenix area. Other off-site presences will include one house for the Sports Marketing Team to host a pool party on Friday and the much-needed Super Bowl party on Sunday.

Once again Oakley will have the Rolling O Lab on-site as we have the past two years, but this year we have doubled down and will have two on-site. As some may remember the first Rolling O Lab “Tina” made her inaugural appearance at the 2007 FBR Open. This year there will be one O Lab located in last year’s location of the 18th fairway and the other located in the westend food court. So, not only will the brand be visible throughout the week on course and with our players, but Oakley HDO education will be a main focus for the brand to leverage on the half million plus visitors that descend upon the course from Thursday to Sunday.

Representing the brand on course through contract this year are the 2008 Tahoe Open Champion Parker McLachlin and PGA Rookie James Nitties. Look for both Parker and James to be wearing Oakley Fall 2008 eyewear, apparel and footwear. As well as many other non-contract players who will be wearing Oakley eyewear include the 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson, 2007 Bob Hope Classic Winner Charlie Hoffman, and the crafty Chris DiMarco.

Last year the FBR Open had the largest single day and four day tournament crowd total ever in PGA Tour history. Over 550,000 walked the course for the week in 2008, peaking on Saturday with 170,000 plus fun loving golf fans. Look for this tournament to not only kick off the PGA Tour season, but Oakley Golf’s presence in 2009!