Thinking 'Green' More than Just a Glove for Hoffman
February 26, 2010
By Helen Ross, PGA TOUR.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Not everyone can pull it off.
Charley Hoffman can, though. He even added green golf shoes to complement the glove of the same vibrant color that he wears when he plays and represents Waste Management on the PGA TOUR.
“If I am going to wear a green glove I might as well look like the Incredible Hulk,” Hoffman said, smiling and shrugging his shoulders.
Joe Ogilvie, another Waste Management guy on TOUR, simply makes sure he has a lot of white shirts among his Greg Norman apparel so the signature green glove doesn’t clash.
“I can’t pull off some of Charley’s outfits,” Ogilvie said with a grin.
The glove is the brainchild of Steve Neff, the vice president of strategic business development for Waste Management. Regardless of their different wardrobe choices, though, both Hoffman and Ogilvie feel strongly about their roles in bringing WM’s initiatives to golf fans around the country.
“In marketing you’ve got to be able to stand out and get your ‘think green’ out there and there’s no better way than a green glove,” Hoffman said. “...We try to think outside the box. Golf’s a very traditional sport and I try to stay within those...and not vary too much. But it’s worked out well.”
In fact, Waste Management’s involvement with the TOUR event in Phoenix for the past decade has worked out so well the company has signed on as the tournament’s new sponsor through 2015.
Open gives the environmental solutions provider an opportunity to showcase several initiatives to educate fans about the four ‘Rs’ so important to its business—reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.
“Our dedication is not just to the sport of golf,” Waste Management CEO David Steiner said. “Our dedication is not just to the charities that the Thunderbirds and Waste Management are going to support. Our dedication is to making this ‘the’ greenest golf tournament in the United States, the greenest golf tournament in grass.”
Toward that end, there will be approximately 60 solar compactors around the TPC Scottsdale. These containers, which are powered by the sun, hold five times as much trash as normal bins. In addition, there will be nearly two dozen “green ops” reverse vending machines on site. When fans put bottles and cans into the machines, they get a discount coupon or rewards points that can be redeemed at participating retailers.
Waste Management also will place hundreds of recycling containers on the course. And there is an eco-friendly sustainable expo that features a variety of materials that are recyclable—including a putting green.
“I really like their whole ‘think green, think Waste Management’ and what they’re doing from recyclables to renewable energy,” Ogilvie said. “I look at them as almost a logistics company.
“I mean, trash isn’t that sexy. But there’s a hell of a lot of it and we’ve got to figure out a way to make it more efficient and if you can get energy out of it, you can cut down on it. They’re at the forefront of the industry.
“And this tournament produces probably the most waste—by far—than any other tournament. So I think it’s a perfect thing.”
Both Ogilvie and Hoffman are serious about Waste Management’s green initiative. Their involvement is much more than a signature on a contract and a logo on their chest.
Ogilvie, who is a Duke grad and member of the PGA TOUR Player Advisory Council, has driven a hybrid car for more than five years. Two weeks ago, he had 48 solar panels installed at his home in Austin, Texas, and he has plans to add more.
“I’m one of those guys, I don’t think the question is if there’s global warming or if there’s not global warming, I’m thinking, what’s the downside of going more renewable, just doing things that reduce your energy footprint, and Waste Management is doing that,” Ogilvie said. “I really buy into that message.”
Hoffman grew up in California and has long been similarly enlightened. In fact, a year ago at THE PLAYERS Championship, he spoke to a TOUR player representative because he didn’t feel the event had enough recycling bins set up around the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
“I’d be lying if I said I went through every piece of trash and one went into recycling and one went into waste,” Hoffman said. “But we try (to recycle) as much as we can. It’s just a step. It’s not going to happen in one year. You just keep getting the word out there about how much you help and how much you can use the recyclables.
“You start thinking, why am I throwing that plastic bottle in the trash? Where’s the recycling bin at? You just try to get better every year about the recycling and eventually it gets easier to do.”
Hoffman, who lost in a playoff at TPC Scottsdale last year, and Ogilvie were excited to see Waste Management step up and sign on to sponsor the tournament, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Both spoke to company executives about the event’s entertainment value—particularly the 16th hole—as well as the opportunities to showcase its green initiatives.
“I was ecstatic,” Hoffman said. "They were talking to me about it and asking what I thought about whether they should do it. And I said there was no better fit than here in Phoenix for you guys. It was great.
“In this economy, it’s a tough sell to spend whatever (a sponsor does) over five years, but if there’s ever a tournament that’s a natural fit (this is it)," Ogilvie said. “This tournament’s an awesome tournament....It’s one of the tournaments that really sells to a national audience.”
And in doing so, brings its message home.
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