When deodorant brands partner with pro athletes, teams or leagues, they tend to stick to drippier sports where fans can see the sweat fly off of faces on television. Secret deodorant sponsors soccer star Carli Lloyd, Speedstick is the official antiperspirant of the NHL and Old Spice has a longstanding relationship with the NFL.
Gillette has been in the body odor protection racket for decades. They launched Right Guard (now owned by Thriving Brands) back in 1960, but are only now making their first foray into golf sponsorship with The 72 Club, named after the amount of hours their clinical advanced soft solid deodorant purportedly lasts. 72 of course is also standard par on the majority of golf courses and a number most amateur golfers dream of shooting. The company is partnering with the Caddie Network on content creation and will also divvy out deodorant samples during select events on the Nextgengolf’s City Tour. They are also sponsoring the nationwide golf league operator’s championship which is being held September 4-5 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. This activation is yet another sign that golf is being viewed in a new light by sports fans and sponsors alike.
“We are definitely getting more eyeballs. It definitely shows that we’re growing and being put into that upper echelon of athleticism,” Max Homa, a two-time PGA Tour winner says. Gillette has enlisted Homa along with Will Zalatoris to promote the initiative.
“Having Gillette come out with new products that help us feel our best, perform our best and in this case smell our best is a big deal for us,” he adds.
While pro golf can be a constant pressure cooker where a single missed putt can derail a bid to win a tournament, the sweatiest moment in Homa’s career thus far actually came outside the yellow ropes. After he came out on top in a playoff to win the Genesis Invitational this past February he began to feel extra ripe right before he was about to meet the tournament’s host.
“I go up on the putting green for the trophy ceremony and Tiger Woods is standing right there and I immediately start feeling uncomfortable and nervous and sweaty, because he’s the guy who everybody looked up to growing up. I did not want him to shake my hands and think that’s a clammy kid right there,” Homa says.
Smells Like North Carolina
While Gillette has no plans to put Homa’s major in Consumer Behavior from Cal-Berkley to work, they may want to at least consider a unique scent he dreamed up patterned off of the best smelling golf course he’s played.
“Quail Hollow in Charlotte has a lot of big old pine trees. You know when you get the pine scent from the car wash? Then, add freshly mown grass. It’s a smoothie of two great smells everybody likes. Also, you’re outside on the golf course so insert your own happiness into that smell. It’s the perfect blend,” Homa riffs.
Homa may be 40th on the Official World Golf Rankings but on Twitter, where he’s become known for his swing roasts and quick wit, he’s on the first page of the leaderboard of PGA Tour players worth following. Sports figures don’t usually entertain the whims of persistent fans but after Armin Abdic hounded Homa for 25 straight days on the social media platform, pleading to play a round with him, Homa actually agreed to set a date when the season winds down. Why did he finally cave?
“I was out of excuses and I think there’s a way to raise money out of it. He seems like a harmless nice guy. I’m all in for growing the game and getting fans to feel as important as they are,” Homa explains.
Asked to ponder how he could apply his prowess in the domain of 280-character quips into a brick-and-mortar business, Homa doesn’t miss a beat.
“Probably a quick hitting stand-up comedy bar where people give their best one or two lines and then get on out of there.”
With the ongoing Koepka/DeChambeau spat sucking up a lot of the oxygen in the golf media world, Homa has instigated a faux tiff with his Scottsdale neighbor Joel Dahmen, who won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship this past March.
“Joel lives a mile from me which is way too close. He just bought a second house because he’s trying to flex on everybody. He wears that big ole bucket hat and he overcame cancer, or whatever…like he’s some kind of hotshot. He’s funnier than most of us. He’s just a tough guy to get along with because he’s nice, he’s always so nice,” Homa jokes.