4 Tips to Master Golf Promotions
The snow is melted. The weather is getting warmer. And with that, the lines at the first tee box are getting longer. That’s right—it’s golf season once again, and promotional products distributors should be looking at this market as a huge opportunity. Here are some ideas on how to score big (or low, if you’re going by golf rules) with golf-related promotions.
1. Look at what’s new
There always are new and innovative products in the golf industry. Putters start looking more like spaceships, pros start wearing high-top golf shoes and there are plenty of new gadgets. Steve Weinstein, president of EMT, Indianapolis, said that one of the most popular new items that he’s seen not only looks good, but it does the greenskeepers a favor too. “We have a new divot tool that’s called the Twister,” Weinstein said. “It uses a unique action to fix divots. Rather than using a fork-type technology, which is usually the most popular, this uses pins that actually lift the divot from underneath and avoid tearing up the roots of the grass. It’s preferred by greenskeepers and country clubs, and it’s getting an awful lot of press in the golf industry.”
Ryan DeGrand, vice president of sales for Pro Am Golf, St. Louis, said that many golfers are looking toward new technology that looks good and helps them out on the course. “[This item] basically is a watch that can be logoed, and it’s called Teelink,” DeGrand said. “It’s got all these different golf courses that you load into this watch. And as you play the course, it tells you the distances from the ball to the hole. It’s unique and different, and we thought it was an exciting item for us.”
2. Look at what works
In addition to hot new items, there are plenty of staple products that every golfer can use on the green. Think golf balls, tees, ball markers and caps.
However, DeGrand said that distributors shouldn’t just limit themselves to these items. “For us, it’s always golf balls that are always very popular, but we really push hard to try to sell our customers other things besides golf balls,” he said.
He added that giving clients the option of ordering one single item, like a golf bag, can encourage more business as well. “The big fear all these years is, ‘Hey, I’d love to get these in the program, but I’d hate to have to do six golf bags. What happens if I only sell four out of six?’” DeGrand continued. “That’s been a big advantage for us—giving our customers the opportunity to only get one bag. Our big push over the last four to six years is really going out to our customer base and telling them how we can do minimums of one with golf bags and golf shirts.”
3. Look where you’re selling
Although we would have loved to have been out on the golf course these last couple months, the weather just didn’t allow for it in a lot of places. Weinstein said that distributors have to be smart about selling their golf items to clients who can actually use them. “In San Diego, the golf business is big all year round,” he said. “In Maine, the season is kind of short. We’re in the Midwest. We generally see orders April and May through October.”
There are plenty of uses for golf items off the course, though, and DeGrand said that distributors can look for clients that can use golf products, but aren’t necessarily a golf course or country club. “It could be a hotel or be in one of those conference rooms or ballrooms,” he said. “Don’t think it just has to be at a golf course or a driving range. We have the ability to bring in hitting bays and hitting nets with high technology to do a driver fitting or do a putter fitting at these hotels and events. We’re really pushing events hard in the last three to five years, and have had success by thinking outside the box with things that aren’t just on a golf course.”
4. Look for more
Once you’ve made a deal to provide branded golf balls and golf bags to a country club or hotel, the deal doesn’t have to be over. Weinstein said that golf products allow distributors perfect opportunities to build even more onto their sales. “I think that it’s one of the most fertile markets for add-on sales,” he said. “When somebody calls a distributor looking for balls, there’s usually another order to be had there for hat clips, tees or something of that nature. So, if you become familiar with the products that apply to the market and how they relate, add-on selling becomes a pretty successful effort in the golf market.”