SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Scott Mahoney, CEO, Peter Millar

Golfwear brand Peter Millar will be well-represented at the Presidents Cup this week. Four of its five golfers qualified to play in the biennial competition, and the company will be outfitting the entire International squad. Scott Mahoney, CEO of Peter Millar, couldn’t have scripted a better platform for the North Carolina-based company’s push beyond U.S. borders.
— Compiled by Michael Smith

Photo: COURTESY OF PETER MILLAR

Clearly, we want guys capable of winning at any point. To have guys who don’t show up on Sundays doesn’t do anybody any good.



Making a mark without marks:
There’s no branding on the clothing itself [at the Presidents Cup]. They’re very particular about the branding. We can say we’re the apparel provider for the International team in the Presidents Cup, but you don’t have any rights to the players. They all have their own endorsement deals. … What a deal like this does, though, is solidify our place as one of the premier apparel companies in golf; the fact that you have Nick Price calling on us to outfit the International team.

Approach to endorsements: We developed a very focused strategy on the PGA Tour to not have more than five players at any time. We had just two for a couple of years, with Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker, then we’ve got Harris English, who is one of the best young players out there. Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, both South Africans, give us an international flavor.

Why place branding on the back yoke (upper back, between the shoulder blades)?: The premier locations are the hat and chest; we know that. By taking the back yoke, it’s a great spot, and there is more branding for the player. Both strategically and financially, that makes the most sense for us.

On styles and colors: The guys are fit and they’re athletes now. They don’t want the big, baggy clothing. That’s true with our business overall. … In terms of color, we love color. Our company has always been known for color, but it’s a fine line.

On the more outlandish looks: A guy like Ian Poulter looks great; he’s got cool stuff. But me, a 47-year-old businessman, if I tried to wear it, I would look stupid. A guy in his 40s and overweight trying to wear the Rickie Fowler orange game-day outfit … it’s a funny thing. Certainly, golf apparel leads the way with a lot of what happens on the market.

On international growth: We’re fairly multichannel, and golf is one of the channels that we do a good business in, both in the United States and the U.K. … Golf is becoming bigger and bigger, and traditional American brands have wonderful opportunities to grow.

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