The Influencer in Chief

There is simply too much clutter online these days, as it’s often difficult to reach a prospect regardless of your product or service. Social media has become a “pay to play” game, as Google seems to change their “algorithms” weekly. Advertising on the traditional platforms like TV is like playing lotto or the slots at any casino. With all the new streaming media devices and channels, where to focus your promotion is a crap shoot.

Back in the day hiring “celebrity endorsers” was a big deal, when there were fewer options for the consumer and business alike. The King of “Pop” Michael Jackson plugging Pepsi in 1984 did wonders for the brand, even if they did burn his hair. Old school NBA fans clearly wanted to “be like Mike“, as Gatorade became the drink of choice for “Air Jordan” devotees, and he didn’t stop there. Nike, McDonalds and Hanes underwear sales took off like a dunk from the free throw line, as their beloved superstar pitchman owned the hardwood and the airways!

The glory days of acquiring endorsements from sports hero’s, movie icons or famous people in general began to change as the “Y2K” decade unfolded. The internet and social media started the trend, as “brand ambassadors” took the place of those familiar faces and jingles from the major networks. Something called an “influencer” was quickly born on channels like Instagram and Tic Tock to name a few. Seems selling millions of albums, winning championships or an academy award was now irrelevant, as long as you have a lot of “followers”…

In 2016 I took the bait and attempted to recruit a very large “influencer” on behalf of a company I promoted, the historic Otey Crisman putter company. Based in the great state of Alabama since 1946, the son of the founder was still making handcrafted putters for golfers when we met. The line had taken a beating as the big equipment manufacturers began to pay PGA tour “influencers” to play their putters. For several decades, dozens and dozens of touring pros used an “Otey”, and many championship were won when the brand was booming.

When Otey III sent me content for the website, I discovered they would often present engraved putters to many celebrities, as well as elected American Presidents! POTUS 45 had just been elected and a local businessman I’d met had connections with the Administration, so I was told. I suggested we try and revive the tradition, and Otey began making one of his classic handmade putters, with “MAGA” engraved on the head, and Donald J. Trump on the hickory shaft. I continued to try and find a way to get our Otey to the President to no avail. Seems he was a bit preoccupied fighting off fake claims of “Russian interference”, election fraud, impeachment, daily bashing by the mainstream media, the Democrats, and even some in his own party…

We did manage to get the POTUS 45 putter to his golf course near The Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida although. I finally reached the Head Pro at Trump International Golf Club, and he agreed to show the putter to the President when he arrived to play golf at the club, in Dec. 2016. Ironically the late Father of the club pro used an Otey putter for most of his playing career! I never could confirm if it was ever presented to President Trump, or even seen, but at least we tried.

Obviously, one of our objectives was to have the biggest “influencer” on the planet at that time, “tweet” out a thank you or endorsement for our still made in America product. His millions of followers on Twitter, as well as other social media channels, could have caused the Otey brand to go “viral” as they say…

Flash forward to August, 2021 as a phone call came into the shop were Otey works everyday, making classic golf clubs for his business partner Tad Moore, as well as his own brand of Otey putters. It was from the office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, inquiring about a gift for former President Donald J. Trump! A rally for the State Republican party was to be held in Cullman, Alabama on August 21st, with special guest speaker none other than The “Donald” himself!

Of course, Otey was honored and accepted the job. The Governor had a representative visit the shop to pick up the Presidents handcrafted, made in Alabama, U.S.A. putter. Prior to the rally Saturday night, with an estimated 50,000 supporters of the American dream in attendance, POTUS 45 finally received a custom Otey putter!

We sincerely thank Governor Ivey from the great state of Alabama for this honor. God bless the former President and all he does, all that he had to endure during his Presidency. I wish we could have reached him before the powers that be took his “influence” away, but we will continue to pray for him, and the country everyday!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.James 1:12