The Perfect Golf SWING
PERHAPS ONLY NASCAR surpasses golf, the grand old game, as king of sponsorships. Cars seem to be held together more by decals than rivets. Blessedly, though, golf approaches sponsorships with a softer touch than racing. Dale Earnhardt (Junior, to most) may turn laps at Bristol Speedway in his Hendrick Motorsports National Guard/Amp Energy Chevy, but Tiger Woods doesn’t tee off from the 18th at Augusta with his Buick-sponsored Nike Driver brought to you by Gillette. When on a golf course or watching a tournament, one would be hard-pressed to find anything not branded, but the brand somehow always yields to the game. For distributors, this may be an important point to remember when going through a tournament checklist of goods.
Logoed tees. Check. Logoed balls. Check. Logoed towels. Check. Custom imprinted swing-altering, game-evolving (ego-saving) practice club. REWIND! Yes, a branded practice club might just be the one item that convinces distributors to push the envelope when it comes to what should and should not be included when planning a golf tournament, or supplying the products to someone who is. There is nothing wrong with the first three items, and admittedly, a tournament may look a little bare-bones if the basics aren’t covered. People expect to get tees and balls, and that expectation should be, and almost always is, met. The trick, though, is to begin to think about long-term advertising and what can be done to guarantee the reason a tournament is held in the first place—namely, exposure.
According to Don Gibas, president of Huntington Beach, California-based Gibas Golf, there are 25 million golfers in the United States, and roughly only 16 percent of them break 100. That’s a lot of men and women duffing fairway irons and pulling out the mulligan ball. As president of a company that has been a maker and supplier of golf products for more than 60 years, Gibas knows distributors need to start thinking about what can be included to the ball/tee/towel tournament solution and more along the lines of providing golfers with something they don’t have. “Funny,” he said, “I’ve never seen a guy pull up and start waiting for someone to give him golf balls before playing.”