Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2012 11:56 AM
IBM proved an effective social change agent back in 1990, when it pulled its TV advertising from the PGA Championships that were being played at an Alabama club that only allowed members that were white. The club changed its policies and Augusta National, home of the Masters, soon followed the same path and admitted its first black member.
Bloomberg News observes that IBM now has the power to make change again, as one of the three main sponsors of the Masters at the now-80-year-old Augusta, which has faced escalating criticism in recent years for not allowing women to join. (Martha Burk, anyone?) IBM, of course, named a female CEO, Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, back in January.
“The company’s CEO traditionally dons the club’s signature green member blazer at the tournament, as do the CEOs of co-sponsors Exxon Mobil Corp. and AT&T Inc.,” Bloomberg noted. “IBM will have to decide whether to keep spending the money if its CEO lacks equal status with other sponsors.” In the end, Rometty attended -- wearing a pink jacket, not a green one. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2010 11:40 AM
Golf pundits are speculating that Tiger Woods’ plan to return to competitive golf at the Masters Tournament early next month will be a strategic master stroke for the career – and the brand – of the world’s greatest living golfer.
What could be better, they reason, than for the "Shamed One" to work back into an indomitable competitive groove by starting at the major tournament that he already has won four times, where he knows every blade of grass on the course?
But if you’re one of the famously staid club officials at Augusta National, the host for the ultimate platform in golf gentility, you may be forgiven if you see disaster ahead. The question is whether the media and fan firestorm that surely will accompany Tiger’s return will overwhelm Augusta – or vice versa. Continue reading...