Hi Marketing Leaders,

"Hello World!" is the well-known statement Tiger Woods used to introduce himself to professional golf in 1996. Since that introduction, Woods has become the biggest individual brand since Michael Jordan earning over $1 billion in total endorsement and tournament earnings. Now, the Woods' brand is tarnished due to his infidelity – yet the Woods' brand is resilient and customers are still loyal. According to Forbes' "Fab 40" list, the "Tiger Woods" brand still holds top spot among athletes with a brand value of $82 million.

What does this have to do with marketing leadership, Forrester and me…"the new guy"?

I officially joined the marketing leadership team yesterday. April Fool's Day is not the preferred starting date for any job, but I made it through without any surprises from HR or my new boss, David Cooperstein. In my new role, I am focusing on loyalty and customer value among other topics. I will explore how marketing leaders are evolving strategies around loyalty and customer value as social media and emerging brand platforms create opportunities & challenges.

Woods' will be under the microscope next week when he plays at The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, GA. It will be interesting to see "real-time" customer and brand loyalty as he walks by "the patrons" at the hallowed grounds of Augusta. I am a huge fan of The Masters which is only two hours from my home in Atlanta (never been). I will keep editorial comments around the Woods' brand for private conversations, but I am very interested in seeing how his brand loyalty and value evolves as he plays for the first time in six months.

This will be the first of many blogs introducing topics and discussions as I build my coverage area. I welcome your comments, debate and questions about any and all subjects. I look forward to seeing many of you in Los Angeles for our marketing forum April 21 to 23.

Talk soon,