SBD/Issue 204/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Apparel Companies Pick Clothes For Golfers Months In Advance

Woods' Wardrobe For This Week's
British Open Selected Last Summer
Many top pro golfers have their wardrobe for major tournaments selected for them months in advance, as golf apparel manufacturers "leave no marketing opportunity to chance," according to a front-page piece by Bill Pennington of the N.Y. TIMES. Nike held its first meetings about Tiger Woods' wardrobe for this week's British Open 17 months ago, and it is the "same for almost all the top golfers." What Woods wears "each day at every major championship this year has been scripted for him by his sponsor Nike since last summer." Woods meets with Nike officials "three to four times a year," and at the last meeting he is "shown prototype garments for his approval or rejection." Nike Global Dir of Golf Apparel & Accessories Doug Reed said, "Tiger won’t wear white pants, for example. And he won’t wear green pants. One year, we proposed he wear a dark green shirt on a Saturday at the PGA Championship. Tiger took one look at it and said: ‘The PGA is in Oklahoma in August. There’s no way. I’m not wearing a dark shirt in that heat.’ So we took it out of the script.” adidas Golf Senior Dir of Global Apparel Tiss Dahan said a "single shirt worn by one of our athletes on a Sunday afternoon winning a tournament can raise sales 10[%]." Dahan: "We see the influx online, and our customer service phone line will get the calls from retailers who are reacting to requests from consumers. You get somebody playing well in clothes that look good, it really moves the needle for apparel." Pennington notes Phil Mickelson, who is not playing in the British Open, does not have a clothing contract this season, "making him one of the few elite golfers to dress himself" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/13).

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