The Bleacher Report is “the US’s 4th largest sports media site with 25+ million monthly readers,” and they reported that the release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo of Natalie Gulbis was timed perfectly for a charity that is auctioning a chance to caddy for Gulbis in an upcoming LPGA event.
So I went to the site for the charity and to my surprise it is not some big foundation but an Episcopal School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only do they have Natalie Gulbis but they also have the chance to be a caddy for David Love III as an auction item. You can bid on them or “pay now” for one of them for $8,000.
What a windfall from a PR perspective for the Charity. Now, you might think it makes sense that Davis Love is listed because he lives in Charlotte and went to the University of North Carolina (in Charlotte) but how did they get Gulbis? She did not go to school in North Carolina and she lives in Arizona. I was hoping it was just plain luck on the part of the charity but my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted see if I could find the connection.
Well according to another article I found at Golf Channel, “A parent who works in sports marketing for consulting firm McGladrey helped secure the caddy spots.” And, surprise, surprise, both golfers are clients of McGladrey. Also according to the Golf Channel Article, the head of the school said they did not know that the SI swimsuit edition was coming out. Really? The parent who works for McGladrey surely knew when their client’s swimsuit press would be released.
Whether or not the school was aware of the PR windfall they were about to get this week is probably not that important; but it is clearly not as big a “coincidence” as the original article in the Bleacher Report implied. That makes me a little bit sad because it would have been fun if it were just luck. Wouldn’t it have been great if Gulbis was just a person supporting a charity she liked (i.e. no sports marketing connections). Maybe that makes me a bit of an idealist but it would have been a better “story.”
I guess the only other outstanding question is will someone pay $8,000 to spend 4 or 5 hours to caddy for Gulbis? We will most likely find out after February 25 (the night of the charity event) — I’m sure the folks at McGladrey are already working on the press release.