Source: USA Today Sports Images
SEE ALSO: The infamous Jordan Spieth bobbleheads
It’s been a rough few weeks for Jordan Spieth, if you’re looking strictly at his performance on the course. Physically and mentally exhausted from excessive travel, he flopped in both Abu Dhabi and Singapore, barely qualified for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, made his worst finish in five months at the event and came in 21st, 10 shots behind relative unknown and winner, Vaughn Taylor. But telling all that the undaunted fans swarming Monterey Peninsula and one of his biggest partners, AT&T.
Source: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
AT&T managed to distribute odd-looking Jordan Spieth bobblehead dolls to the first 8,000 fans who showed up at Pebble Beach and Spieth was beset by requests from admirers below the age of 10 to sign the dolls and other memorabilia even as he was on the green. What was remarkable was that even the grandmothers of these Spieth loving tots could not refrain from gushing about him.
As he departed for the third hole, one middle-aged woman was heard saying “He is so cute,” while another admitted that his “baby-faced looks” had her in thrall. One grandmother even went as far as to say that he is exactly the type of young man she wants her granddaughter to bring home. Teens are hardly indifferent to him either. As one 17-year old commented, Spieth is “young, cool, and has lots of game”. Spieth has the rare quality of appealing to just about any demographic, whether it’s composed of 1-year olds or 100-year olds, and that’s ultimately what’s going to keep him relevant no matter how badly he’s bombing on the course.
Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert from San Francisco, says Spieth’s evergreen charm is a dream come true for marketers. “Just 22, already a household name and face, winner of major championships, squeaky clean, highly likable and poised beyond his years. There’s no limit to his upside as a player, and with golfers’ long shelf life as marketable commodities, he’s highly desirable to sponsors of everything from luxury cars to high tech, fast food to financial services.”
AT&T’s Ryan Luckey delves deeper into why Jordan Spieth holds such magnetic appeal across the age spectrum, particularly with young people. “He’s an all around great guy and if you look at millennials specifically, they probably value authenticity more than anything else. He’s a genuine person. What you see is what you get. You take his outstanding character with his authenticity and couple that with his great play on the course and it’s not a surprise to us that a lot of people are quickly ranking him as their favorite player.”
This is definitely a heartening revelation, in particular for those who declare that they’ve given up on the next generation altogether. It isn’t that Jordan has the flash of Rickie Fowler or that he draws attention to himself by courting controversy. It’s really just that what you see is what you get with him and that’s a rare thing in any profession in the limelight. The same Jordan Spieth that warmly chats with fans as they clamor around him on the greens is the one that takes care of his little sister Ellie. People old and young respond well to a good man with nothing to hide and this is what keeps his head well above water, even if he loses that cushy Number 1 spot. As Dorfman says, there are very few ways he can screw that up. “Unless his game collapses or he’s embroiled in a Tiger-esque scandal, I can’t see any downside to his longterm marketability.”