SBD/February 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

TaylorMade Dominating Golf Club Business As CEO Pursues "Relentlessly Aggressive" Style

Dustin Johnson has been with TaylorMade since he turned pro in '07
Callaway and TaylorMade were the two “heavyweight contenders among golf-club makers” five years ago, but today, TaylorMade “hasn’t just blown away Callaway, it now positively dominates the business,” according to John Paul Newport of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.TaylorMade “surged with aggressive marketing,” and data from market research firm Golf Datatech found that the company last year “captured 47% of every dollar spent" on drivers. That figure is up from 26% in '07 and 11% of the driver-only market in '02. The company last year also “hauled in 25% of all sales” of irons, up from 16% in '07. No other company “comes close.” Callaway, while “still No. 2 in clubs overall, has slouched back closer to the pack.” TaylorMade achieved its rise “primarily by a relentlessly aggressive management style” that President & CEO Mark King calls “pushing the envelope on every front.” The first “key to TaylorMade’s success was getting as many clubs as possible into the hands of PGA Tour pros.” When King took over in ’00, he “made that a top priority.” Data from golf equipment research firm Darrell Survey shows that TaylorMade in ’01 “wrested the title of No. 1 driver on Tour away from Titleist.” It has “creatively exploited that advantage ever since.” The name of the company’s RocketBalz irons is “another example of TaylorMade’s aggressive style.” It is “a bit daring,” but it is “fun and the brand has killed in the marketplace.” Besides “Tour support and bold marketing,” the company’s third key is “ceaseless introduction of new products.” The “constant deluge of new clubs is a boon to TaylorMade’s marketing -- there’s always something fresh to hype -- and a challenge for poorer competitors to compete against” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/9).
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