U.S. Open Merchandise Reflects Promotional Products Trends
The 2018 U.S. Open saw 2017 champion Brooks Kroepka successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. The trophy was arguably the most coveted item at the tournament, but for fans, the chances of leaving the course with it were slim to none (depending on how fast you could run).
So, for them, the merchandise tent was the next best thing.
Though we couldn't attend the event ourselves, Golf Digest posted a rundown of some of their favorite items in the shop, and it reflects ongoing trends in the promotional space that we've talked about before.
Most notable is apparel.
We're always hearing about how end-users are looking for retail-inspired fashion, and suppliers and distributors are taking note. Golf Digest highlighted apparel from big name companies like Ralph Lauren.
In terms of the styles themselves, we've seen an increase in all-over patterns and Hawaiian shirts, which were on display with the Shinnecock Hills logo. We've also seen the resurgence of bucket hats, for some reason. Those were available, too.
Since it's a summer event, U.S. Open organizers know that fans will want items they can use at barbecues, parties or just hanging out in the yard. There were plenty of branded can coolers, bottle openers and even over-sized golf balls for kids to kick around in the yard.
At the US Open Merchandise tent,
the jackets and sweatshirts are flying off the shelves with the unexpected cold weather. There will be 120,000 merchandise transactions here this week. pic.twitter.com/0B5g1CaiNs
— Jess Golden (@JGolden5) June 15, 2018
Finally, it is, after all, a golf tournament. Attendees probably have at least a casual interest in golf. For those who play religiously or just a couple of times a year, the merchandise store had items that are popular in the promotional golf space like umbrellas and club covers.
However, there's one item that left fans baffled. After a CNBC producer tweeted pictures from the merchandise store, a fan said he saw branded cinch bags, but didn't see them on sale.
— JohnWallStreet (@HowieLongShort) June 15, 2018
Thanks to cutting-edge image enhancement technology (i.e. putting my face really close to the screen) we think we can make out a golf ball in the bags. These might have been special giveaway items for certain spectators, or even for players themselves.
However, this appearance of exclusivity seems to have created buzz. No doubt they'd sell big had they been available for anyone to buy.