“People whose left hand has taken them to greatness.”

02adco190.jpgElizabeth Olson of the New York Times reports that the Mickelson's will be able to put food on the table for another year thanks to Phil's new deal with Crowne Plaza hotels which, mercifully, should save us from another year of those roundtable ads with Trevino, Feherty, Gulbis, et. al.

The center of the promotion is a Web site, ameetingwithphil.com, where fans can submit a story or video by Feb. 2 in one of six categories: people who look like Mr. Mickelson; spectators who have been hit by one of his golf balls;
Glad we clarified which balls.

people who consider themselves his biggest fans;

There goes the PGA Tour membership.
those who have advice for his golf game;
Calling Rick Smith. 
amateurs who think they could be the next Phil Mickelson; and “people whose left hand has taken them to greatness.”
Uh...no, I won't touch that one either.
Mr. Mickelson is a lefty in a sport that favors righties.
After sorting through the online entries and several in-person auditions, Crowne Plaza, which is owned by InterContinental Hotels Group of London, plans to choose five people with compelling stories in each category and fly them to San Diego in late February. There the company will shoot six 30-second spots featuring unscripted conversations between Mr. Mickelson and the fans. The ads will be shown during the 2008 golf season, from mid-April through September.

Hmmm...we may regret the loss of those Crowne Plaza ads after all.

“This is a chance for fans, who used to be on the fairways until ropes were put up, to interact with Phil, who is known for being approachable,” said Michael S. Craig, group account director at the agency that created the campaign, Fallon Minneapolis, a division of Fallon Worldwide, a part of Publicis Groupe.


This is fun. 

Mr. Mickelson, 37, who was not made available for comment, has appeared in ads for Rolex, Exxon Mobil and Ford, among others. He is one of a string of golf greats to lend his name to a brand. Arnold Palmer led the way more than four decades ago and was soon followed by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. These days, Tiger Woods appears regularly for Nike.

Although things can go sour in a sponsorship deal if the athlete gets in trouble, Crowne Plaza says it sees no cause for concern with Mr. Mickelson, who is known for his devotion to his family and P.G.A. charity work. “When you think about athletes as endorsers, you are at little risk with a golfer,” said Mr. Craig of Fallon.

Well...most golfers.