Southern Company PGA TOUR Ad Campaign To Feature Players' Wives
Tiffany W. Gilstrap
ATLANTA (March 8, 2002) -- Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and one of the largest generators of electricity in the country, is launching two new 30-second television ads featuring PGA TOUR players from the Southeast and their wives.
The spots will run during the PGA TOUR season from March until October. The first ad, featuring PGA TOUR player Billy Andrade and his wife Jody, will begin airing this Saturday, March 9, in 18 cities across the Southeast region during the Honda Classic golf tournament. The second spot, featuring PGA TOUR player Stewart Cink and his wife Lisa, will air starting Saturday, March 23 on NBC, during the network coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship.
The campaign was developed and produced by Southern Company's advertising agency, Fitzgerald+CO of Atlanta, which previously produced a Southern Company commercial with SENIOR PGA TOUR player, Joe Inman. The ads were created to promote Southern Company's business strategy of planning for the region's future energy needs.
These ads represent Southern Company's effort to stand out from the look of traditional golf commercials.
"Southern Company really wanted to do something different this year to capture our targeted audience and further communicate our innovative and strategic direction for the future," said Lee Birdsong, advertising manager for Southern Company. "In times past, our ads have focused on just the players, but by incorporating the players' wives into the TV commercials, it adds a unique style that complements the company's comprehensive growth strategy and Southern Style approach to business."
"Both commercials do a nice job of taking PGA TOUR golfers and their wives off the golf course to demonstrate their everyday personalities. The interaction between the couples is entertaining and also communicates a good Southern Company strategic message," said Tom Sobotta, account supervisor for Fitzgerald+CO.
Southern Company began its sports marketing efforts in 1997 by sponsoring PGA TOUR member Billy Andrade and SENIOR PGA TOUR member Joe Inman. Since 1999, Southern Company has been the "Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR."
Golf programming allows Southern Company to reach its target audience of business leaders, policymakers, financial analysts and investors, wholesale and other large energy buyers. Southern Company's partnership with the golfers and the PGA TOUR provides sound business advantages, such as creating opportunities to strengthen relationships with customers and key decision makers.
With $144 million in billings, Fitzgerald+CO is one of the leading brand- building agencies in the Southeast. Part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, the agency also has a public relations arm, Weber-Shandwick International, and a promotion marketing company, The Botsford Group. The Fitzgerald+CO client list includes AFLAC, Aruba, Atlanta Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Chiquita Banana North America, Coca-Cola USA, Cryovac, Delta Machinery, Durex, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mentos, Johnston & Murphy, Porter-Cable, PROMINA Health System, The QUIKRETE Cos., Raymond James Financial, The JERZEES division of Russell Corp., Southern Company, SRIXON, and Virginia Energy Choice. For more information about the agency visit http://www.fitzco.com.
With nearly four million customers and more than 34,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company is the premier super- regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns five electric utilities, a fast-growing competitive generation company and an energy services business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been named No. 1 on Fortune magazine's 2002 "Most Admired Company" list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at http://www.southerncompany.com.