CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Pancakes aren't on the menu at Waffle House.
But a Pancake appeared at the Signal Mountain Road restaurant Wednesday morning – Brooke Pancake.
The former Baylor School golfer who is now a member of the LPGA Tour spent two hours there for a promotional photo shoot, and to casually announce the restaurant chain will sponsor her for a second straight season.
"It has been the best partnership," Pancake said. "When we reached out, we thought it would be far-fetched. But they got on board and they've been the best supporters."
"They send me 'Good Luck' emails and congratulatory things in the mail and they sent me birthday presents."
Sponsorships are uncommon for Waffle House.
But with a name like Pancake, the product and service that Waffle House provides, plus her marketability, and the fact that she and her family ate at that restaurant every Sunday after church, seemed like a perfect opportunity for the company.
"It's extremely rare for us to have any kind of sponsorship, but this is a natural," said Senior Marketing Manager Shelby White who drove up from Atlanta for the event. "We thought it was fun with her name, then once we met Brooke, she is so personable and a great ambassador for our brand, and more importantly she loves Waffle House."
Pancake said she orders something different every time. But she has a couple of go-to items off the menu.
"I pick and choose, but sometimes I'll go with the bacon and egg sandwich," Pancake said. "Or I'll get the All-Star with eggs, crispy bacon, hash browns and we'll split the waffle."
As part of the agreement – financial figures were not released – Pancake makes public appearances at restaurants when tour events are in a city with a Waffle House. She also sports a bold black-and-yellow Waffle House golf bag – complete with "Scattered, Smothered, Covered" in script – at every tournament.
It stands out on a practice range against a backdrop of other bags, usually embroidered with a golf company logo.
"It's the most recognizable bag on any tour," said Pancake, who turned professional in 2012 after a stellar career at Alabama where she was a three-time All-American and an academic All-American.
"It's one of those bags that everyone wants to see up close and take pictures with it," she said. "When I was in San Francisco and Canada, places where they don't have Waffle House, people came up and took pictures and told me stories about traveling down here and the memories they have of going to a Waffle House with friends or family, sometimes at 2 a.m."
Pancake played in 19 tour events last season and finished 116th on the official money list. That guarantees her between eight and 14 events this season, more if she performs well early in the year. Her season will begin at the Pure Silk LPGA Classic on Paradise Island in the Bahamas Feb. 5-8.
"I'm coming off a rocky year, but I learned more this past year than any other year," Pancake said. "There are a lot of things I'm excited about and I'm ready to get going.
This article was written by David Uchiyama from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.