How to Make Your Golf Promotions a Hole-in-One
When the weather begins to warm up, we can only think of one thing: Arnold Palmers. And when we think of our favorite refreshing beverage, we’re immediately reminded of our favorite warm weather sport: golf.
The sport continues to dominate the outdoor recreation world, and it’s no surprise why—it’s the setting for business deals, relaxation and even charity fundraisers. If you’re not implementing golf promotions into your product offerings, you’re missing out on a $2.55 billion market, according to Golf Datatech.
So, to help you ace your next golf promotions, we spoke to two industry experts, Tim Hanson, president of Ball Pro Promotional Group, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Brian Porter, vice president of sales for Pro Towels, Pittsburgh, to share their top tips.
1. Call on Classics
When it comes to the game of golf, the classic promotions are always reliable suggestions to pitch to a client.
“Balls, tees and towels remain the classics,” said Hanson. “The Titleist Pro VI is the No. 1 ball in golf, and creates the wow effect when placed into programs.”
“We normally recommend a lower-priced ball, like the Callaway Warbird 2.0, for tournaments and events,” he continued. “The money saved on the lower-priced ball can then be spent on more memorable promotional items, like poker chip ball markers, Pitchfix divot tools, hat clips, Glove Branders gloves, Scramble Pics and cooling towels.”
2. Stay on Trend
In terms of new, trending golf items, Hanson had some suggestions as well.
“New this year, the Caddycap tee holder is a budget-friendly accessory that bundles all of the favorites, and conveniently clips to the golfer’s golf bag,” he said.
According to Porter, golf towels continue to experience change and growth.
“We’ve seen a trend away from the traditional towels to the more waffle, microfiber-based towels, which are very popular in retail and do an exceptional job of cleaning the clubs, as well as the balls,” he said. “The other trend has been larger towels, which can be draped over the shoulder and taken up to the green or over the clubs as you move around the course.”
Hanson agreed that cooling towels have seen success on the green.
“They’ve come a long way from the standard cotton towel, and are now a standard in most gift bags or pre-tournament mailings,” he said. “It’s a product that golfers will actually take off the course and use in everyday life, giving the advertiser a much broader [return on investment] versus [products for] only those playing.”
3. Go Digital
With tech permeating every other industry, it’s no surprise that the digital movement has made its way onto the golf course. As a result, golf promotions are integrating technological features. In addition to adventure cameras, Hanson has noticed a surge in several other tech items.
“With the availability of smartphones, we have seen an increase in Bluetooth devices that pair with the cellphone that give accurate front, middle and back yardages to the green,” he said. “The new TLink golf and fitness watch also works as a pedometer and tracks the steps, calories and distance walked on the course. It includes [more than] 30,000 courses worldwide.”
Porter agreed that tech items, like range finders, GPS products and Bluetooth speakers, are now normal products to find on any course.
4. Ask Questions
Distributors looking to sell golf products to prospective clients will find more success if they ask the right questions.
“They will tell you they need balls or towels for an event,” said Hanson. “It is our job to ask them more about the event, such as how much money they plan to make, when the event is, how many golfers and how much did they make last year. We are then able to
provide our customers with the information to help them raise more money.”
Once you’ve determined all the facts surrounding an event, let your promo expertise take over.
“We have a rule of thumb that for every dollar an event pays for products, they need $2 in sponsors—so you need sponsor-friendly logo products,” Hanson explained. “We have kits in a lot of different packaging options, such as head cover, ditty bag, shoe bag, hat, canister and tubes. Kits include the greatest and latest products that golfers like to see.”
Of course, budget is a huge determining factor for golf promotions. However, if you can wow a prospective client with your ability to be creative within the confines of a monetary limit, you’re sure to see success.
“There are usually spend limits on the bags—and for the tournaments, the more creative and unique you can be while staying within budget, the better chance you’ll have of landing the tournament,” said Porter. “Most of these golfers are recreational as well, so think beyond specific golf products, and go to universally useful products.”
5. Be Versatile
Like Porter said, it’s important to think beyond the golf course to more universal products. For your next golf promotions, consider products that have functionality in the real world, too.
“Golf is moving beyond the golf course,” said Porter. “We’ve seen more events being held at locations, like Top Golf, where a novice player, without clubs, could still have an amazing time.
“We recently did an entire company outing and outfitted them with flip flops from our Neet Feet line, and across the board, it was their No. 1 product received,” he continued. “The usefulness of the product, combined with knowing your market and where you want that message to travel, all need to be taken into account when planning these golf-related events.”