Thursday, December 28, 2006

What's the Deal with Pink Golf Clubs?

It must have started with the baby blanket thing. Someone, in their infinite wisdom decided that boy babies should have a blue blanket and girls should have a pink one. Who was this idiot anyway and what does blue have to do with boys and pink with girls? Why couldn’t the color have been yellow for boys and green for girls? Or mauve and periwinkle?

Why are the covers of "chick lit" books all pink? If you wander down your local Barnes & Noble and stop in the Women’s Literature section, 75% of the books have pink on their covers. Have I just uncovered the secret subliminal marketing message that tells women that "if it ain’t pink, it ain’t for me?"

So I see this press release on Accu-Length's new Pink golf clubs. "Once young girls start using these clubs they'll understand why LPGA star Paula Creamer feels that pink is her lucky color," says Accu-Length president & COO Rick Rutter. He goes on to say "the Accu-Length Pink Set was created to meet the demands of young girls who are becoming more and more interested in playing golf."

What demands? The burning desire of girls to have a set of pink golf clubs?

I know that Paula Creamer is all about pink. That's her shtick. Annika and Lorena do just fine without wearing pink.

The Pink Panther, who obviously is a male, is all pink. Also, fiberglass insulation is pink and that clearly isn't a "female" product. Yet Nair hair remover and Bic shavers are pink.

I don't think girls, or women for that matter, care is their golf clubs are pink, green, mauve or polka dots. What they do care about, like the other gender, is golf clubs that work.

We lament the fact that the golf industry has been in a slump. Rounds played are down, there is an oversupply of courses and equipment sales have been flat. Girls and women are one of the fastest growing segments in our anemic industry.

So what do those highly-paid marketing executives at major golf club companies do to innovate and reach out to one of the fastest growing segments of the playing population? They paint their golf clubs pink. Some cutting-edge forward-thinking minds here.

Can't marketers come up with better ideas than a paint job? Please, give me a break from this pink-mania and come up with some REAL marketing innovation.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

If the Queen of England Can Podcast, So Can I

It was reported on Yahoo that Queen Elizabeth II of England will be making here traditional Christmas speech available as a podcast for the first time.

The broadcast will show the queen, wearing a green outfit, chatting to schoolchildren as she helps them make a collage of a nativity scene. "It should twinkle rather well, shouldn't it ... especially when the lights are on it," the queen remarks during the podcast.

Although she is about two years late to the podcasting party (and fourteen months behind me, the Golf Gear Guru), I have to commend her for embracing new technologies. If someone could have added to her upcoming speech a little bit about golf, that would have made it a "brilliant" listen.

So mark your calendars on December 25th at 15:00 GMT to see the Queen in her first podcast.

I say "bully for her." If the Queen can do it, anybody can.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Golf Gear News #28: Political Golfers, Dick's Buy Golf Galaxy, Nancy Lopez Sold, Duffer's Back, Drugs in Golf Balls, One Putt Strut

CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #28 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch reports at The Newstand on the Golf Digest Top 200 Political Golfers, and Scotland Opens Children's Golf Course.

In She Golfs Too we explores the Sale of Nancy Lopez Golf and learn about one of the Youngest Female Players Chosen for UK Golf Team.

The Guru Commentary rants about Dick's Sporting Goods' Purchase of Golf Galaxy.

Duffer McDoughall Johansen returns with Duffer Part Deux.

In Golf Around the World we visit Private Escapes Club and for only USD $350K entry fee you too can join. We hear about a a Woman Who Destroys Art With Golf Club and Heroin Found in Golf Balls.

Our Website Sportlight is One Putt Strut.

As always, our show is sponsored by

Check out our new Media Kit.

Next time listen for the third installment with the Socrates of Golf - Duffer McDoughall Johansen.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dick’s Buys Golf Galaxy. Let the Consolidation Begin.

I had written in April that Dick’s had opened a prototype concept store called simply The Golf Shop. Now, it appears that Dick’s didn’t want to wait to see how it would perform. Instead they went out and bought Golf Galaxy for $225 million.

According to Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s, he believes that the industry is ripe for consolidation, that’s why they swooped in and grabbed Golf Galaxy. With a sluggish industry firmly in a recession, some analysts wonder why Dick’s is willing to invest so much in the golf retailing space.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, with 300 stores and over $2.5 billion in sales, can afford to pick up Golf Galaxy and add its $250 million in sales to the balance sheet. They also will have more leverage with suppliers than Golf Galaxy did. Dick’s also has its own private label products and the Ben Hogan golf line that they can add to Golf Galaxy’s offerings.

What this is going to mean to the industry is that smaller retailers like GolfUSA, Golf, Etc., Nevada Bobs and others will continue to struggle and that franchised shop in your town might close. A small chain made up of independent franchised stores cannot compete with the better funded big box players. A Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith might have a 20-30,000 square foot store while a GolfUSA might have 2500 square feet.

Yet, these companies are not the competitors that Dick’s is worried about. It’s Golfsmith. With 62 stores and a strong balance sheet coming off an IPO, Golfsmith is the only pure golf retailer that Dick’s has to worry about.

As odd as this might sound, I believe that Golfsmith is a candidate for a takeover by one of the bigger fish in the sporting goods arena. With less than $400 million in sales, it might make a nice addition to The Sports Authority and their head-to-head, dog-eat-dog competition with Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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