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GREG NORMAN'S LINE ATTACKS A "LIFESTYLE" CONSUMER
Published June 30, 1995
Greg Norman's bright, stylish Reebok outfits -- along with his trademark wide-brimmed hat -- have become a signature look and a key ingredient to his vast fan appeal. Last year, those managing the Greg Norman Collection changed their retail approach from golf shops to higher-end department stores, such as Bloomingdale's in New York which was the test store for the line's new concept. Earlier this week, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with Michael Stein, VP and General Merchandise Manager of the Greg Norman Collection, on their strategy and plans for the future. NOT JUST FOR GOLFERS ANYMORE: Stein said the "successful" test at Bloomies led to a Greg Norman Shop and presence in Lord & Taylor's and Nordstrom's. Stein: "The golf lifestyle is very much a part of fashion today, and we feel that if we go in in a very careful way to only the finest level of department stores, we can maintain our 'green grass' [golf shop] business and grow our business in a helpful way." There are also plans to set up Norman displays in Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Stein believes the move into high-end retail will not alienate the golfer base, as they have remained conscious of their traditional golf consumer. Stein said they plan to will make a special grouping of merchandise, maybe 30% of their line, "green grass- exclusive." Stein: "That is our heritage, and the cornerstone of our business and we are not interested in vacating it, but growing it to its maximum." SHARK ATTACK: The Norman line will be marketed under the "Attack Life" slogan. To kick off the summer campaign, the Collection underwent a massive PR campaign in New York. Norman did a personal appearance at Bloomingdale's and his face adorns a huge 36 x 67 foot billboard on Broadway between 45th and 46th, with the "Attack Life" tagline. The ad also runs on 40 bus shelters around the city. Stein said a print media campaign which will be featured in GQ, Esquire, Men's Journal, and selective golf publications, beginning in July. A TV campaign will commence next year. HOW 'BOUT THOSE COLORS, MATE? Stein said the Norman look is based on aboriginal, primitive designs from Norman's native Australia. Although the colors and designs used to be "very wild and very loud, and mostly primary colors," Stein said they are now doing "more subtle elegant designs" to make the whole line "an idea of dressy, elegant sportswear, not just golf clothing -- which means it can be worn anywhere, on the golf course, off the course." The Norman Fall Line will be in stores starting August 1. NOT A "JOCK" LINE: Stein said the Greg Norman Collection, with its offices in New York, is under their own umbrellas after being part of Reebok Golf. Stein: "They will still own us. But we run Greg Norman as a separate line company and are responsible for a bottom line to Reebok as a separate company. We are doing everything we can to take Reebok off the name because that conjures up another kind of image and thought that we don't want in our line. It is not 'athletic jock wear.' This is not exercise clothing, this is elegant, worldly sportswear" (THE DAILY).