McDowell tweets about Callaway’s new driver

Graeme McDowell

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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