It's Easy Being Green
THE COLOR GREEN has always been closely linked to golf. There’s the deeply colored grass blanketing golf courses, often reputed to be reason enough for golfers to haul irons over hills, if just to practice their swing. There are the lucrative business deals made on the course and in the clubhouse, or the state of being “green with envy” for the wealth which hovers as closely to the sport’s reputation as an overzealous caddy might to his or her golfers. Golf’s many connections to the color green shouldn’t only tempt its players, though—a few facts make a strong financial case for the success of golf apparel.
Statistics from the National Golf Foundation (NGF) estimate 12.5 million American adults play at least eight games a year, while another 15.5 million play one to seven times annually. An additional 2.5 million golfers between the ages of 12 and 17 point to a long-term adult demand for the sport’s apparel. The NGF also notes the 16,052 golfing facilities in the United States, and the approximate $26.1 billion annually spent on golf-related travel. Furthermore, a 2006 Packaged Facts report stated the market for golf apparel, gloves and footwear was a $2 billion sector of the sport’s industry in 2005.
That’s a lot of green. The figures spotlight a quantifiable core audience attentive to the sport’s products, while golf’s undeniable ties to networking opportunities and travel indicate a higher level of product exposure to a business-savvy population. It all forms a compelling, continuing argument for the apparel’s—not to mention the game’s—rapt and mobile audience.
“Golf apparel is a ‘must’ in this industry. If you don’t offer it, you are only hurting your business,” asserted Lori Anderson, marketing manager at River’s End Trading, Hopkins, Minn. The company has been in the promotional apparel business for 25 years, and “golf apparel has been offered for almost as long as we have been in business,” said Anderson.