SBD/June 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

U.S. Open Merchandise Tents Seeing Record Sales As Bad Weather Pushes Foot Traffic

A four-hour rain delay on Thursday helped Merion's merchandise sales
Storms during Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club "led to plenty of ka-chinging" at the venue's three merchandise tents, which proved to be the "real early leader" after the first day of the tournament, according to Dan Gelston of the AP. When a weather delay began at 8:36am ET, "thousands of fans left their perches in the grandstands and went in search of souvenirs." Aside from the "big, white souvenir tents, there were few options to escape the storm, so fans took advantage of any covered area, no matter the size" (AP, 6/13). In Philadelphia, Andrew Albert notes the U.S. Open merchandising department is "reporting record sales." U.S. Open Senior Dir of Licensing & Merchandising Mary Lopuszynski said, "We had our best pre-championship opening ever. By a lot. A lot of people came out and bought a lot of merchandise." Merchandise tents first opened last Thursday, and Lopuszynski said that this week brought the "best Monday for sales at a U.S. Open." Lopuszynski: "Monday, there was play from about 11 to 3, so we were really busy in the morning and really busy in the afternoon, because there was no golf to watch. I think the rain helps and hurts. It hurts in that some people won't wait for the rain to stop, so they go home and don't shop. It helps in that umbrellas, ponchos, rain gear and jackets, that kinds of stuff, just flies" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/14).

YOU WEAR IT WELL: GOLF DIGEST STIX's Marty Hackel reviewed the fashion choices some of the top golfers are wearing at the U.S. Open this week. He wrote Bubba Watson's outfits from Oakley are "excellent looks," providing a "graphic and bold" style. They also show a "nice variety," and Watson gets "bonus points for matching the belt and trousers on Saturday and Sunday." Luke Donald will have an "elegant look, as usual." Donald has "strong color-blocking elements and bold, clear striping." The color choices are "all very good." Defending U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson's outfits are "certainly bold, and that's a good thing." Hackel: "I love the solid red cap and white shoes." It gives Simpson a "signature look for the week." However, Hackel wrote of Brandt Snedeker's attire, "I'll be hitting the snooze button when I see these outfits." Snedeker has an "effusive personality" and could "amp it up with brighter colors that would pop on TV." Instead, he is "playing it safe" (GOLF DIGEST STIX, 6/12 issue).

IN THE CUP: In Philadelphia, Joseph DiStefano reports Philadelphia-based Saxbys Coffee is "offering a fancy-coffee promotion tied to the fortunes" of golfer Jim Furyk. Saxbys will use Furyk's 18-hole scores during this week's U.S. Open, "converted to pennies, as the price for two latte-based drinks developed by the firm's baristas and served at the chain's Haverford store, near the course where the tournament is being played." There is "no contract, just the use of Furyk's widely posted previous-day scores as the price for the next-day drinks" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/13).

NOTES: Mercedes-Benz South Africa named golfer Louis Oosthuizen as its new brand ambassador. The car maker will assist with his junior golf academy. Oosthuizen’s other sponsors include UPS, Ping, Audemars Piguet, NetJets, FootJoy and Titleist (THE DAILY)....Two-time U.S. Open champ and current ESPN analyst Andy North is among several investors in Kayo Technology Inc., a Wisconsin-based company that "aims to modernize the practice of physical therapy" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/14).
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