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The Billion Dollar Long Drive

When life hands you lemons…

…turn it into billion dollar lemonade.

In this episode, Adrienne hosts a very special guest – her brother, Nathan Gautier, Development Officer for the St. Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and the founder of the LemonDrop Long Drive, an area fundraiser to raise awareness for testicular cancer.

Listen in or watch as Nathan discusses his marketing heart, considerations for becoming involved in “cause marketing” and how his event has caught the idea of a billion dollar company.

Want to connect with Nate and feature a LemonDrop Drive in your own local community? Connect with him here.

➡️ Nathan Gautier, LinkedIn

🍋 LemonDrop Long Drive, The Walks Foundation

👞 Walks with Nate


Adrienne Woods: Cancer and golfing. What do they have in common and how can you use it in your marketing? We are chatting with cancer survivor Nathan Gautier, who turned his lemons into lemonade and founded the Lemon Drop Long Drive. What is it and how can you be a part of it? It’s all on today’s spam marketing show and it starts right now.

Nathan, welcome to the FAM Marketing Show. I know that you’re a marketer by heart. You work for the St. Francis Medical Center as their, uh, development officer of special events. You’re the founder of the Lemon Drop Long Drive. You’re a husband, you’re a dad, and one of the best parts is, do you wanna share it with them who you are?

Nathan Gautier: Uh, I’m a cancer survivor. I don’t know if that’s where you’re going with that. No,

Adrienne Woods: but my brother, you’re my brother. Brother.

Nathan Gautier: Well, yes and Adrian for having me. Uh, you’re welcome. That’s the best part. And of course, of course, I missed it. .

Adrienne Woods: Yeah. Sorry. I was like, oh, he’ll surely know. He’s a dad. He’s a husband.

He’s a, but Nathan is my brother, or Nate, as most people referred to him as we were talking about this last night before we recorded the show, that the only people in his life that referred to him as Nathan. Are his siblings and our parents. Otherwise, everybody refers to him as Nate. I was telling him a funny story that my mom hates the name Nate, like she did not want him to be known by Nate.

And that’s just how it has all fallen. Fallen down. So, Nathan, before we get rolling with this, we always start off our show with some trivia. Sometimes it’s marketing trivia, sometimes it has to do with the topic. So I’m gonna give you. A, uh, a trivia question I found I’m gonna give you four answers, and then at the end of it, I want you to, uh, tell me what you think the answer’s gonna be.

Okay? You got it. You got it. Okay. What is the longest, since we’re talking about the lemon drop long drive, the longest golf ball drive in yards, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Do you think you know the answer to this before I even give you answers? I do not. Okay. Here’s your, here’s your four choices.

Just be thinking about ’em. We’ll answer ’em at the end of the show. Is it 515 yards? 458 yards. 336 yards, or 297 yards. Okay. Are all of those more than you thought they might be or less, or what were you thinking?

Nathan Gautier: I’m more still stuck on the fact that I run on long drive event and I didn’t know what the longest drive is on Long.

Adrienne Woods: Oh, okay. Well, okay, so everybody in the audience be thinking about that. We’ll get back to it on that topic. Nathan, tell us about who you are, what you do, and what the Lemon drop Long Drive

Nathan Gautier: is. Yeah. Well thank you for the introduction and uh, you pretty much hit everything, uh, nail on the head. So, I am a dad and that’s probably my most, uh, prized accomplishment as a human being on this earth.

I have a little boy. He is one year old. His name is Dawson. I am. His biggest fan and will always be. Um, and I’ve got another son on the way, so I am just living my dad life dreams, , and, um, yeah, I, I’m a development officer for a large healthcare system, uh, across the, the state of Missouri, Southeast Missouri region.

Uh, focused and it’s, it’s a, it’s an incredible position where I find myself, we just had our gala a couple weekends ago, raised a little over $300,000 and it was a, just a smashing success and a fun night. But who I am at the core is a person that loves people. Uh, can be known as being a little intense at times, but I think it’s just cuz I, I’ve got a, as they call it, a good heart, right?

I, I’m in, uh, and, uh, passionate, good runner. You know, I’m a runner. I’m a. . Yeah, I, I love to be outside all things outdoors and, um, golf ended up finding its way back into my life though, as uh, the listeners will find, cuz you and I are siblings. I started at seven. I didn’t pick it up about until I was about 30.

Um, but I’m back in the game swinging the sticks. Love and

Adrienne Woods: life. Well, I mean, so what our audience to share with everybody, our grandfather was a golfer, loved to golf our papa, one of Nathan and i’s favorite. Persons to ever have walked the face of the planet. Um, and I think he gave it his best effort to get all of his grandchildren involved in golfing.

I am not a golfer. Our sister’s not a golfer. Our other two brothers are not golfers. So Nathan just happened to pick it back up, but I would love for you to share with him, because I know you’re a marketer at heart. So you worked for the St. Francis Medical Center now, you worked for a different company before then, and kind of what did you do with that?

And then I want you to talk about. , you know, your cancer story and how that developed into long drive.

Nathan Gautier: Sure, sure. Thanks for asking. So I did have the opportunity to work for a boutique marketing firm, um, for a number of years as their account manager. And that was anything from creation of ads and distribution, deploying of said, um, assets to being able to connect with people on a one-on-one basis.

Uh, that was really the forward facing aspect of my position. When I was, uh, full-fledged marketing, I own my own small marketing company, walks with Nate. Uh, we do some unique things where we try to get in front of people and really, um, just take a different spin on storytelling. So I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling.

I remember. A number of years ago before getting into the full fledged, uh, marketing, um, atmosphere that, that I just wanted to be able to tell a good story. I thought there was so much power in how somebody crafts each nugget of information and the way that they share it and the way that. They could be compelling in the way that they can be persuasive, in the way that they can really just grab an audience.

And so I started reading books on storytelling. I started, um, doing my best, uh, Jim Carey in front of the mirror, uh, impre impersonations of, of telling something that I felt to be just an impactful message. And so now I am very, very pleased to, to share that. I, I do think that we can. become good at storytelling and we can all make that something that we’re, um, just.

Led and called and passionate to do when, when we’re connecting with others, cuz that as humans at our core, that’s what we want. We want to connect with other people. And so, um, through, through that, um, I, you know, in the midst of, uh, Uh, you know, learning to, to tell a good story. I get diagnosed with cancer.

This is 2018. At this time I’m 28. And how old are you? Years old. I’m there you go. Uh, I, I was 28 at the time. Uh, I’m 33 now, and, and in the moment I was in the best shape of my life. I, I felt like, you know, physical prowess was, was right in, in the middle of my name. I have run two marathons for the year, uh, with our younger sister, as you know, the second one at St.

Jude in Memphis. A couple of, you know, a couple of days before I go down to run that second marathon for the year. I get a message, um, or I get a final opportunity to get into to see the doctor. It’s 2018. It’s the healthcare crisis. If everyone remembers, you could not get in to see a doc. Um, I had this small pea size nodule on the right side of my testicle, and I was just ki it was, it was very freaky.

As a man, we typically will try to let those things go away. Uh, when it didn’t go away, I got very nervous, very upset, very tearful. Called my wife. I was a regional manager working in a bank at that time, and I was, you know, just, just bawling my eyes out. I go into the bank and I have this beautiful little window on my office where the receptionist can walk down and say, oh, Nate’s on the phone.

I’ll come back to a couple of minutes. Perfect for that. Uh, not perfect. If you’re a grown man crying, uh, by yourself, it’s pretty obvious that you’re in distress, so, um, Get diagnosed after that, that marathon and go through six months of intensive chemotherapy and treatment. I lose all my hair, I lose all my ego.

And uh, it was just a true, very

Adrienne Woods: visceral ego to start with. So

Nathan Gautier: only the sister, only the sister can say that. Um, I will go ahead and toot your horn, uh, even though I could redact this statement, but she came, my older sister, Adrian, she, she took care of me for a week. She took me to chemotherapy. And, uh, just really, uh, we have some special memories and moments and pictures of that time.

If I keep talking, I’ll, I’ll definitely tear up. But, um, got through cancer, ended up beating it, and as that happened and as I regained my strength as I got back into the workforce, We started noticing that a lot of guys my age and older and younger in particular were also being diagnosed with tc with this particular cancer.

Um, it is the number one. Adolescent cancer for boys and men. It’s very unknown, right? Cause it’s taboo, right? People don’t, I didn’t know that. You can talk about being diagnosed with tc. Um, it was embarrassing. It was taboo at the time. I thought, oh my gosh, I have cancer. I can’t tell anybody about it. Um, and then in 2021, we decided to flip the switch.

We said, we’re tired of guys having to be in the shadows. Having to hide what they have been through, whether it’s uh, their chemotherapy, their dignity, losing a testicle. You know, these guys are people and they are hiding the woodworks because they’re embarrassed to talk about their story. And so we created what we call the Lemon Drop Long Drive.

And I do a pretty poor job of explaining lemon drop. But I will say this, the reason that we chose Lemon Drop was because as a cancer patient, when you’re going through chemo, One of the most saving graces that you can receive is a lemon. . Why? Well, lemon drops are acidic and so the acid actually goes to soothe the stomach and it can give you temporary relief as you’re battling the nausea.

One of the main side effects of chemotherapy, so we called it lemon drop, the synergy of the lemon drop, the type of cancer that we were dealing with made a lot of sense since that time. And I’ll, I’ll shut up in a moment. I, I get tired of hearing myself speak. Uh, so thanks for sticking with me, everybody.

But we ended up, since 2021, we’ve raised over $30,000. We’ve partnered with national brands such as Top Golf and Top Tracer and Calloway. And this year we’re, we’re going national with the event. There’ll be an event for the Lemon Drop Long Drive March 26th through April 2nd. We have our own event here in southeast Missouri, just about an hour south of St.

Louis and Cape Giardo. And, uh, we’re gonna take care of some patients and their families.

Adrienne Woods: That’s incredible. So, I mean, of course I, so full transparency here. Nathan used to work, like he told you at the beginning for a boutique marketing firm and when he first started Lemon Drop. And I would consider Nathan and I to be like, close, right?

Like we, we talk a lot. There’s very little about our lives that we don’t know about each other. I thought that the lemon drop was. An event in his area that his marketing firm was putting on. Like I didn’t realize that he had created this. I was like, oh, how nice. There’s a testicular cancer event that like they were putting on probably cuz Nathan’s, you know, had testicular cancer.

Um, and really it was his, and it was the product of just his story. And like I said, or he said he developed the walks with Knight Foundation, which I believe is a 5 0 1 Or you’re working on the nonprofit status at this point? Correct. Um, But one of the things, um, it’s just such a well-run organization that you did, you got the attention of Callaway golf that owns top golf and all of the things that go into that.

And so, and now they’re taking it national. And so from a marketing perspective, Nathan, like draw this home, draw clothes, and I mean, we could talk for another 15 minutes on this, but like, why as a marketer, as somebody who’s in development who’s constantly trying to get sponsors and why, why should you partner up with, with organizations like your.

How, how do you partner up with, I mean, give me the marketing four 11. If I’m a retailer and I’m like, I’m looking for an event, why do I go support, you know this, this local nonprofit that’s throwing on this event, what’s in it for me?

Nathan Gautier: Yeah, that’s, that’s a good question and, and I’ll kind of answer it twofold.

First off, we should all be supporting good things, you know? Mm-hmm. , if we’ve got the ability to donate towards a cause that touches our hearts strings and really compels us to want to give because we believe in what the people are doing, then we should. And so when you think about Lemon Drop, we didn’t create anything.

Unique, right. Long drives have still and will continue to be a type of athletic event, but what we did is we made it our own. Mm-hmm. , we connected it to something very personal to us, such as testicular cancer. We then marketed it intentionally and stuck to a plan and then read those analytics and improved them and dialed them in as we continued.

And so we’ve been able to kind of position ourselves with something that was already. And make it our own because of our unique connection to that thing. So most people will, will also think when they hear me speak right now about cause marketing. And that’s the twofold part for me. Because while I believe in cause marketing, I do not believe you as an individual that wants to go and market, should go and market for the American heart, associa.

Unless you are doing that because you believe in their mission, their cause, and their why. If you attach yourself to a cause that is amazing. Make sure that it’s genuine because it will always pay dividends If you are just attaching yourself to a national nonprofit so that you hopefully get some recognition out of it or you’re seen in a good light, people will will seek that out.

They will be able to sniff it out more quickly than you realize. So while I believe that there is power in cause market, I believe that you should choose something that means something to you. Mm-hmm. , good

Adrienne Woods: advice. Good advice. And lemon drop means obviously quite a lot to you. So back to our trivia question, sir.

What is the longest drive on record? Is it 515? Four hundred and fifty eight, three hundred and thirty six or 297 yards.

Nathan Gautier: I’m stuck between the top two. Uh, I I do a lot of, uh, life in the long drive world, and so I know that it is possible to hit the ball 4 58. Um, I would like to believe that it is also possible to hit the ball five 15. So that is my final

Adrienne Woods: answer. What’s your, what’s the furthest you’ve ever hit it?

Nathan Gautier: I can’t say that on the air.

Ok, cool. .

Adrienne Woods: Ok, so, so here I’ll give you, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, professional long drivers can average over 356 yards in a competition. The world record, which is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest drive in a competition. Is 515 yards. It was done by a 64 year old in 1974 by the name of Mike Austin.

He was at the US Senior National Open Qualifier, and he did it with a 43.5 inch steel shafted persimmon wood driver. So there you go. 515

Nathan Gautier: yards. You’ll have to, you’ll have to log that in the show notes and let me see that later. That’s amazing and not at all expected. That’s not at all

Adrienne Woods: expected. So how do people get ahold of you?

I’ll put all that. I’ll put his information in the show notes. But if you’re in Southwest, southwest part of Missouri, , you wanna be a part of that, you know, connect with Nathan. I’ll put all of his contact information down there. If, if testicular cancer or any cancer is near and dear to your heart and you’re like, Hey, I don’t wanna be a part of Lemon Drop, but I love this idea of taking a cause that I’m a part of and helping market that connect with Nathan.

He could maybe you could be on walks with Nate. He could talk to part of your story. Um, if you have any tips though, or strategies or ideas on how to do better marketing Texas over at FAM News, we always love to hear from you. Um, subscribe on Apple Podcast, Spotify, leave us a review. You don’t understand how important reviews are and uh, yeah.

That’ll do it. Nathan, thanks you for being here. I appreciate you, Adrian.

Nathan Gautier: Thanks

Adrienne Woods: for having me. You’re welcome. We’ll see you guys next week for more Bam Marketing Magic.

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