By: Alex Myers
If you’ve attended a PGA Tour event, odds are you’ve seen them. If you’ve watched one on TV, you’ve definitely noticed their handiwork. The MetLife blimps have become a staple of golf broadcasts, but you won’t be seeing "Snoopy One" or "Snoopy Two" in 2017. Or ever again, for that matter.
Why? The Wall Street Journal reported MetLife is breaking ties with Snoopy, dropping the cartoon character that has served as its logo for the past 31 years. As the insurance giant reassesses its marketing strategies, the company also revealed it will no longer to use blimps for aerial coverage of sporting events. That includes the approximate 25 PGA Tour events "Snoopy One" and "Snoopy Two" visit each year — about a third of the total events they get to.
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Aside from becoming a fixture in the sky for fans, the blimps have been a guide for tour pros at times. Patrick Reed, for one, said the identified flying object helped him win the Barclays at Bethpage Black this year.
"I’ve always known the blimp has to fly straight into the wind," Reed told Forbes’ Erik Matuszewski in a September story. "So if the nose isn’t up, that means the wind really isn’t blowing so much. Most times, it really helps out when I’m in the deciding process.”
Matuszewski wrote that it was former CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian first got blimp footage by putting a camera in one for an Orange Bowl during the early 1960s. Since then, blimp footage has become a "vital part" of coverage according to CBS executive producer of golf and the NFL, Lance Barrow.
And in addition to being the official life insurance provider of the PGA Tour, MetLife has also served as the tour’s official aerial coverage provider (Yes, there is such a thing). Regarding a possible new provider of aerial coverage, a PGA Tour representative said, "We are in discussions."
Until that gets sorted out, though, so long, Snoopy(s).
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