What Swag Golf Hiring a Pro Skateboarder for Creative Direction Means for Golf Promos
The face of golf is changing. There have always been young phenoms within the sport to appeal to younger audiences, but what companies are doing with actual products could have as much impact on the game and its culture as someone like Rory McIlroy or Ricky Fowler.
Swag Golf is one such company that's taking the sport of golf and using things like limited edition drops akin to streetwear releases and modern designs to appeal to younger golfers. What started as a company that specialized in fancy club covers is now expanding across other sports to create even more appeal and drive demand for golf products.
Professional skateboarder Eric Koston was recently named as a creative director for Swag Golf. Aside from his popularity within the skateboarding community as one of the most influential street skateboarders of all time, Koston has been instrumental in driving Nike's influence within skateboarding, attaching his name to numerous products and even throwing some golf spikes on one of his signature shoes.
— Swag Golf (@swaggolfco) December 14, 2021
Koston, an avid golfer, just collaborated with Swag Golf for a limited drop of skateboard decks and other branded products that tied together the worlds of golf and skateboarding, two environments that until recently existed on opposite ends of the sports spectrum.
But, do they have to exist so far from one another? Developments like this indicate that they don't.
"The Swag Golf brand is almost like a skateboard brand, a small company with big ideas that move the market into something authentic and cool," Koston told Hypebeast. "I can relate to the company since there are lots of employees there who actually skate and are familiar with skateboarding culture."
Koston also pointed at similarities in the way the sports are played. Technically, they're individual sports, but you do them with friends, you talk some trash while your friends struggle, and endorsements are everything to those lucky and skillful enough to go pro.
"The general public sees those parallels and how similar they are," Koston said. "Or even a golfer looking at skateboarding. Or vice versa. Skateboarders don’t look at golf like that, unless they go and play. If you don’t do either one, you’re not going to totally understand that. If you live both lifestyles, you fully grasp the similarities."
Within the promotional side of things, golf apparel and products have also been skewing toward a younger and more stylish demographic. Think apparel that mimics streetwear styles, comfortable and stylish headwear, and items that have more in common with athleisure than the office.
Swag Golf also formed licensing agreements across other sports, like Major League Baseball and WWE, casting a wide net across interests and drawing people into the golf accessories business that otherwise might not have given the company any notice.
Is Swag Golf getting someone like Eric Koston going to revolutionize golf to the point where it's unrecognizable in a few years? Probably not. But it's a big get for a relatively small company, and shows that golf companies are setting their sights on younger golfers, or maybe some people who have never picked up a golf club in their life yet.
You can and should still appeal to the players who have been teeing off for decades, but promotional products distributors would be smart to look into what some of the fringe companies within the golf and apparel world are doing, too. It might not be happening all at once, but the golf market and the demographics within it are beginning to shift.