Josh Governale of The Governale Group was standing behind Taylor Crozier last Wednesday as the 11-year-old prepared to take the inaugural swing at the opening of the 10-hole Playground course at Bluejack National, an hour north of Houston, Texas.
The event was already news because Bluejack National features the first golf course in the U.S. (and only the second in the world) designed by Tiger Woods, and the four-time Masters champ was in attendance to play a round with lucky junior golfers. But when Crozier sank that first shot for a hole-in-one, Govnernale — who is marketing & media director for Bluejack — knew he had something more.
“I realized that it was incredible and it was a story that was so marvelous and magical that we should share it,” Governale told VideoInk, “because sharing moments like that is marketing and p.r. that you cannot buy.”
Governale kept one camera crew from the production company he works with, 77 Films, standing by to capture the remainder of the event, and sent the other cameraman off with an editor to cut together a short video. Two and a half hours later, the 1:12 min. piece was uploaded to Bluejack National’s YouTube channel.
Upon landing back home in Florida, Woods was made aware of the video, and he sent a tweet out with a link to the clip that was eventually retweeted more 5,000 times.
Shortly thereafter, Governale contacted other media outlets to alert them to the video.
“I considered it a ‘Sports Center’ top ten moment,” Governale says who spent 15 years in L.A. working as a publicist for Fox Broadcasting for such shows as “24” and “Fringe” before returning to his home state of Texas to be closer to his family. “ESPN agreed and issued a blast and showed it on the air, and instantly I received calls from ‘Good Morning, America’ and a number of other national outlets. My phone rang off the hook until 2 a.m. and started again at five in the morning. It was everybody from Houston to Helsinki.”
By the morning, the video had received more than 700,000 views, which inspired more broadcast TV mentions, which in turn spurred more online shares and YouTube views. By Monday morning, the video had received more than 3.5 million views. In contrast, the second most popular video on Bluejack National’s YouTube channel (above), in which Woods describes his design philosophy for the course, has received just over 178K views.
Obviously, a hole-in-one is not something that can be planned. It was a lightning-in-a-bottle moment. But Governale had readied himself for that moment by developing a longstanding working relationship with 77 Films, who were there to capture the action as it unfolded.
Working as a marketer today, “you have to be nimble enough to have a news room, so to speak,” Governale said. “You have to produce, you have to edit and you have to distribute.”