Head shot 2011

By Tom Lang for dbusiness --

Much too often, golf sponsorships like Titleist or Ping are seen simply as logos on a shirt or hat worn by national touring pros, begging for the TV camera’s attention.

But local companies can also flourish in their marketing efforts with sponsorships of local tournaments and charity outings – and in at least one case by sponsoring a local teaching pro, Bob Krause.

Krause grew up in Macomb County and played a couple years on the community college team there, before playing mini tours for eight years and going to the PGA Tour Q-School two times.  Krause has since found his niche working one-on-one with golfers to improve their games, one person at a time.

“We like Bob’s personality; he is a professional in his own right,” said KC Charara, general manager of Mastercraft Jewelers in Livonia, Krause’s latest sponsorship deal. “We think his values, his philosophy, align well with what we do here at Mastercraft, in our service, in our large selection of world-class time pieces, many of which are related to the sports industry. So we see a common connection there, between our brands and what Bob does.”

Mastercraft (mastercraftjewelers.com), located on Six Mile Road near I-275, is Michigan’s largest Breitling Watch distributor.

Charara said Mastercraft owner Jack Demirjian is an award winning custom designer with nearly 30 individual published awards nationally.

“Breitling is a very powerful brand and we felt Bob would represent the brand well,” Charara said. “His customer base and our customer base, again, I think share the same values, so we like the relationship.” 

Krause wears many hats in the golf industry.

He teaches at Lyon Oaks in Wixom (www. oakmanagement.com/LyonOaks.aspx) and at his indoor studio in Commerce Township with video swing analysis, club fitting and golf fitness with Dave Davis.

Krause also teaches outdoors at Twin Beach Country Club in Bloomfield (www.twinbeachcc.com), where he provides facility management services. He also serves as official golf pro at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) and Chan. 4 airs his golf tips. 

Additional sponsors include the City of Petoskey, a local branch of Farmer’s Insurance, Fortes Payment Systems and Cadillac of Novi.

“People in the golf community are in our customer demographics so it makes total sense to team up with a teaching pro,” said Cadillac dealer GM Ed Pulver. “Bob sends us a lot of customers and it’s a great trade off. It’s definitely a plus for both of us. Marketing and growing his own brand runs parallel to what we do. We measure the ROI on it each year and think we get the value we need for the sponsorship.”

Cadillac of Novi (www. cadillacofnovi.com) is under the same ownership umbrella as Southfield Chrysler and Telegraph Chrysler. Each of the three dealerships host customers to a golf outing annually, where Krause offers tips and swing analysis.

“It’s all about utilizing my brand to bring attention to their brand, and vice versa,” Krause said. “It really works.” (www.bobkrausegolf.com).