One of the big draws of a PGA Tour event is the merchandise tent. They don’t always have that allure and exclusivity of The Masters, but getting something like a shirt, hat or golf equipment is a fun way of saying “I was there,” especially if the Tour makes a stop nearby.
Right now, golfers are competing without fans to cheer for them, so merchandising has had to switch up its approach a little. (Club up, if you will.)
The ZOZO Championship, which usually happens in Japan but is taking a detour to the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., this year due to COVID, is using its merchandise to raise money for medical institutions working to stop the spread of COVID-19.
According to the PGA Tour website, all merchandise items will be for sale only on the ZOZOTOWN e-commerce store operated by ZOZO Inc., and will be limited to customers in Japan only. So, there’s still a bit of that Augusta-like exclusivity.
— ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP (@zozochamp) October 4, 2020
ZOZO also partnered with the organization Sherwood Cares, which works to benefit California and the area around the course. There’s that hyper-local draw for merchandise, too, especially since this is a one-off thing. What's even cooler is that some of these designs for sale are a far cry from your father's golf apparel. These are streetwear inspired, so the exclusivity makes a bit more sense now. Golf has been doing this for years, as younger competitors enter the tour and bring their style choices with them, and this is very smart from ZOZO.
If your event already has the appeal of being different this year (whether it’s location or format), people will probably want to buy something to remember that. For golf, there’s already such a high demand for tournament merchandise from apparel to golf equipment to home goods. Throw in the promise of benefitting worthy causes, and that’s a hole-in-one.