The only thing I knew about Johnson Wagner prior to the Sony Open was that golf commentators were talking about his mustache; and the comments were not exactly flattering. Some compared his mustache to that of the sleazy private detective, Pat Healy (played by Matt Dillion) in the movie “There’s Something About Mary.” By the way, a movie that I cannot stand.
Wagner was just one of many golfers who grew Mustache’s in November. Many grew them because of a campaign called Movember which was created to raise awareness of Men’s Health issues. Wagner said he just didn’t shave over the holidays and decided to try a mustache. Regardless of the reason, folks teased Wagner about the “new look.” Given it provided additional banter and color commentary for the golf media, I suppose it should not be a surprise that the commentary continued the Monday morning after he won the Sony Open. But it seems to be “the story” about Wagner. Now folks are comparing him to Magnum PI (Tom Selleck).
When asked about it, Wagner said his friends think he looks like a “Latin Lover” and, oh yeah, his wife hates it. Wagner won the Sony Open and in an interview, Wagner says he is keeping his mustache at least until he plays the Masters. He even said it adds to his confidence.
It got me thinking about personal brand. Personal brand is certainly important for professional athletes. And I wonder if Wagner’s mustache is going to become part of his personal brand? If personal brand is about making yourself stand out from the crowd, or in this case on the golf course during a tournament, then I think the mustache might actually be more important than winning the Sony Open.
I can honestly say that prior to this week if Wagner was on the TV screen I would not recognize him. But last night during the telecast, I could recognize him in an instance because of his Mustache. In the future will I remember who won the Sony Open in 2011, maybe. But if Wagner still has his mustache will I recognize him on TV, definitely.