Don’t ever underestimate the power of social media — you know, I try to explain that to skeptics, who don’t understand, because you have to join and experience Twitter (and at least follow people, you don’t have to actually tweet) to grasp the concept and its awesomeness. Here now, we have a perfect example of a success story, facilitated by social media.
On Thursday the Northern Trust Open, which is held at Riviera Country Club, February 14-19, announced it had granted Jason Gore a sponsor’s exemption for the event, thanks largely to the Twitter campaign launched by Eric Magidson, a fan who struck up conversation with Gore at the Nationwide Tour’s Boise Open last year.
Magidson and Gore kept in touch via Twitter, according to GolfChannel.com’s Jason Sobel:
After the tournament was over, Magidson and Gore kept in touch through Twitter, with the former – a computer science instructor at Central Oregon Community College who is aspiring to compete in this year’s Monday qualifier for the Boise Open – often seeking advice from the latter.
Gore has plenty of it to offer, from a lifetime of experience. After failing to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2012 season by a single stroke at Q-School, he now owns status only as a past champion, which he expects will be enough to get him into only about a half-dozen events this year. He understands and appreciates the predicament, but as a Southern California native and longtime fan of Riviera Country Club, there’s one tournament that means more to him than all others.
All of which was the impetus for the following tweet on Sunday:
@JasonGore59: Just signed up for the @ntrustopen qualifier, but you have NO IDEA how stoked I’d be to get a sponsors invitation! #myhometown #mymajor
Others who re-tweeted the message included NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and fellow professional golfers such as Pat Perez, Geoff Ogilvy and D.A. Points. Well, it was enough to catch the attention of the tournament:
Gore’s fans and friends continued to tweet their enthusiastic and persistent support. Two days later, NTO organizers extended a sponsor’s invitation to Gore, which was announced via Twitter, of course.
“Jason’s record and his strong local ties to Southern California put him on Northern Trust Corporation’s short list for a sponsor’s exemption since last year,” said Executive Director Jerry West in a press release. “We are all pleased to see that his many fans on Twitter agreed that he is deserving of this exemption. We look forward to seeing all of Jason’s fans, which we are dubbing Gore’s Gallery, at the tournament next month at Riviera.”
Pretty cool story, huh? I’m telling you, social media rocks (and I wouldn’t be sitting in the media center at the Sony Open writing this if it weren’t for Twitter).