McDowell tweets about Callaway’s new driver

Graeme McDowell

It’s that time of year again in the golf equipment industry when companies begin to turn their attention toward next year and a wave of product launches.

TaylorMade made a big splash about its newest irons on the Web yesterday. But I was more interested in the Twitter revelations of U.S. Open champion and Callaway endorser Graeme McDowell, who intrigued me when he wrote Sept. 7: “Here in Carlsbad, CA at the Callaway Global Sales conference. New equipment being unveiled 2moro. Watch this space.” http://yfrog.com/mist3qj

Hmm, my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

Two years ago, I was an invited guest to attend Callaway’s annual sales meeting. The week-long activities give sales reps their first look at the upcoming year’s products as well as marketing strategies they’ll deploy in the marketplace.

I didn’t have to sign any paperwork in blood promising not to write about what I witnessed, but the new products were treated like state secrets, and Callaway personnel kept an eye on me as if I were 007. Mostly, I got to watch Callaway showcase its pitchmen, including Rocco Mediate – fresh off his U.S. Open duel with Tiger Woods that year – Ernie Els and Johnnie Miller. When company officials got down to the nitty-gritty of the product launches, I was politely escorted out of the room.

Even Rocco made light of the secrecy.

“They’ve got a sniper aimed at me if I say anything about it,” he said of that year’s new driver.

These days, news about product introductions seemingly “leaks” faster than ever – thanks in part, apparently, to company staff players and new mediums. McDowell tweeted Sept. 8 (with picture): “Check this puppy out!! The new Callaway Octane driver. Coming at you in November of this year. Very hot.” http://yfrog.com/2pftwtj

It sure is a different world.

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