Arnold Palmer. Chased Human Great with an attitude of gratitude.

18 June 2024, Tuesday


The game has given so much to Arnold Palmer, but he has given back so much more: Jack Nicklaus



Arnold Palmer was golf’s greatest ambassador . This week he sadly passed aged 87 .

He’s credited with having taken the game to another level , but there was something else that set Arnold Palmer apart.

And it’s something that today’s champion golfers are struggling to emulate.

Not only was Arnold Palmer ‘ ‘THE KING ‘’, he was THE KING OF PERSONAL BRANDING

Many moons back in 1959 , Arnold Palmer teamed up with IMG’s branding guru Mark McCormack , to kick start what is today’s mega sports marketing industry .

Sporting champions of today earn telephone numbers because of what transpired way back in 1959 – two pioneering men who understood the value of branding in sport, business and in life .

And it was Arnold Palmer himself , who would take personal branding to another level .

Having lost a very close friend in a car accident when he was young , Arnold Palmer’s golf took a back seat when he decided to join US Coast Guard for three years – for him it was not just about golf .

He was to go on and build a brand which embodied the hard working strength of America – enabling him to take golf to the masses .

Arnold Palmer democratized golf, made us think that we, too, could go out and play. He made us think that we could really do anything, really. All we had to do was to go out and try : John Boehner.

Arnold Palmer built a potent personal brand : BRAND ARNIE , where’s today’s sporting champions are primarily directed towards building corporate brands such as Nike, Under Armour, Titliest, Callaway and the like – and getting handsomely rewarded for doing so .

But, there’s a difference, and there’s an inherent danger in that one’s PERSONAL BRAND can lose its way – losing it’s own essence.

Purpose and Performance Goals become entangled .Priorities get obscured.

We have seen this with Brand Tiger.

And we recently caught a professional glimpse of it when Jason Day , Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth all opted out of the Rio Olympics.It was an opportunity missed for golf’s new BIG THREE to showcase the game to the greater world .

Arnold Palmer would have been the first to board a plane to Rio.

Today’s champions are inclined to chase the game.

Arnold Palmer chased human great.

 defined by the 3S’s : Sustained Success and Significance.

arnoldArnold Palmer transcended golf.

He had all the C’s which make up a potent champion’s cocktail : Capability , Charisma , Character,   Consistency ,Culture , Confidence , Certainty, Camaraderie, Contribution, Connection ,Courage, Control , Concentration, Creativity , Challenge, Charm

Summed up in sport ,  it’s called CLASS.

Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word. He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans, and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport.  Our stories of him not only fill the pages of golf’s history books and the walls of the museum, but also our own personal golf memories.  The game is indeed better because of him, and in so many ways, will never be the same: US GOLF Association

Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and Performance Coach to Business executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.


Find out more about his game -changing  THE GAME PLAN METHOD .

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