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Acushnet Launches "Union Green" Company

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This gist of the article I read was that the specs and characteristics of the ball are not known, but that's not okay because that's not what their target players care about and because they have a well branded website.

 

Wouldn't the people who dont care to have the "best" ball just buy an ammo box?

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

It’s all about share of market. They have healthy share in retail, but no presence in the direct to consumer (DTC) market. It is a weakness. So they are entering a product at a lower price point to test it.
 

They could have done it with their lower tier balls, but then consumers would want the ProV1. They don’t want to sacrifice their relationship with their retailers, so they came up with a ball that is not in retail and not like their retail ball. I don’t think they will hurt Snell, but some other low cost DTC companies may be hit by this.

I don’t like the marketing angle though, but understand their logic. It is to fill a gap.

Maybe.  Just not participating in a segment of the overall market isn’t necessarily a weakness.  It may or may not be an opportunity.  

There have been plenty of luxury brands that tried entering a mid-price market and diluted the perceived value of their luxury brand.

That’s why we do a SWOT analysis though.  Like I said, I’d really love to have the insight to their thoughts and analysis. 

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What’s so good about the price? I get Wilson Duo all day long for about 15 bucks and don’t have to pay shipping. The 28 dollar ball would be ok if it where urathane but for a syrlyn? No colors, just white is as traditional as you can get. Don’t get the target market.

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10 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Maybe.  Just not participating in a segment of the overall market isn’t necessarily a weakness.  It may or may not be an opportunity.  

There have been plenty of luxury brands that tried entering a mid-price market and diluted the perceived value of their luxury brand.

That’s why we do a SWOT analysis though.  Like I said, I’d really love to have the insight to their thoughts and analysis. 

When they start marketing it more, people will see Union Green, not Acushnet.  I doubt many in their target audience knows the brand is closely related to FJ and Titleist.  I don't see it as having a huge effect, regarding diluting.

It definitely seems like they are targeting millennials.  I'm interested to see how their marketing campaign gets to them.

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37 minutes ago, phillyk said:

When they start marketing it more, people will see Union Green, not Acushnet.  I doubt many in their target audience knows the brand is closely related to FJ and Titleist.  I don't see it as having a huge effect, regarding diluting.

It definitely seems like they are targeting millennials.  I'm interested to see how their marketing campaign gets to them.

There’s another aspect that they’re considering as they move forward.  There can be a potential benefit to their value product by emphasizing the relationship with the luxury line.  But again, that knife can cut both ways.

Agree.  It’s gonna be interesting to watch...

 

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3 hours ago, snapfade said:

You mistake sarcasm for politics and for that I apologize.

There were a lot of golf start-up companies in the mid to late 90's during the Tiger boom and they aren't around anymore. One of the newer ones is USAG. They have amusing products, but I think their clock is ticking too.

 

Your snarky sarcasm made me giggle. 

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Imagine if this was The Sandtrap's little mission statement:

We are united by our love of the game. We don't follow the rules. We take mulligans and ignore the game's traditions and conventions. We're not your usual golfers.  We aren't interested in the history of the game or playing fair. It's because we love the game. We're Sandtrappers.

I mean.... What would be the  the difference?

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I am amazed at the negative reactions to this idea. Obviously the Pro V1 players won’t be interested. But why so negative? Some of us are fine playing $20.00 surlyn balls (we’re going to lose them anyway), so another option may get a look. And if not - not. 

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Just now, tehuti said:

I am amazed at the negative reactions to this idea. Obviously the Pro V1 players won’t be interested. But why so negative? Some of us are fine playing $20.00 surlyn balls (we’re going to lose them anyway), so another option may get a look. And if not - not. 

It's because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. And the type of marketing bullsh*t that makes people cringe.

 

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6 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

It's because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Titleist feels they are missing revenue in the DTC market. Why would that not be a problem for them? DTC is cutting into their retail sales because more and more people are buying on line. They are missing out on that for the lower priced balls.

The problem exists. You don't like the marketing angle (neither do I), but the financials are there.

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10 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

It's because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. And the type of marketing bullsh*t that makes people cringe.

 

They certainly believe that it exists.  Either as a “problem” that is eroding their current retail offerings, or as an opportunity they’ve previously missed to add to those sales via  the DTC segment.  
 

What bullshit?  Marketing works.  It works on you too.  As long as it’s not inherently dishonest, or somehow dangerous or immoral (tobacco companies targeting kids as an example), there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to a specific demographic about how you believe your product is a better choice for them than that of the competition.

 

4 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Titleist feels they are missing revenue in the DTC market. Why would that not be a problem for them? DTC is cutting into their retail sales because more and more people are buying on line. They are missing out on that for the lower priced balls.

The problem exists. You don't like the marketing angle (neither do I), but the financials are there.

^^^ This ^^^

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A few times I've gotten email surveys, probably through some golf-related subscription, asking about what I think of a particular golf ball ad, what would appeal to me in terms of description, characteristics of the ball, etc. A couple of these were pretty obviously aimed at Titleist IIRC.  It may be that feedback from things like that and other demographics research, etc., showed they were missing out on a sector of the golf population.

It doesn't entice me, but I'm not the one they're trying to find.

Any guesses as to what they re-branded for these balls?  Maybe they put a new cover on the  TruFeel or Velocity and called it the Teebird? New cover on the Tour Soft and called it the Pindrop?

Didn't Callaway or Bridgestone do the "dimple in a dimple" thing a few years ago?  Any benefit to it (other than it looks different)?

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This conversation has been fascinating to me. I think a lot of great points have been brought up during the discussion. 
 

For my money, if Acushnet would have brought out a Titleist ball, labeled as Titleist and perhaps slightly different than what they sell as they go through their normal supply chain. If this ball labelled as "Titleist" was only available direct to consumer through web-sales they would be much MORE likely to get my business. I'm not interested in the rebelling against the big corporation look and feel of their webpage.

So from what I see, they are not only after the direct to consumer buyer, but also the Hipster (I live in my parents basement until I'm 35, and I hate all things corporate … except my I-phone and my Starbucks) market. 

it's a really interesting move. AND I do NOT think Acushnet has their heart in it. The reason I say that is that their phrasing on the webpage doesn't actually make any sense. When that happens its often because a group of folks who don't truly believe in the goals write up the marketing speak. They are more or less checking a box. 

Compare the phrasing on this webpage to the phrasing on the Walker Trolley Webpage. If you agree or disagree with the Walker Trolley philosophy, doesn't matter. At least it MAKES SENSE. You can tell that their heart is in it. I may be wrong, but Acushnet just feels like it's checking a box here. "Okay, we marketed to the hipsters, now lets get back to marketing our PROV-1's." 

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56 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Compare the phrasing on this webpage to the phrasing on the Walker Trolley Webpage. If you agree or disagree with the Walker Trolley philosophy, doesn't matter. At least it MAKES SENSE. You can tell that their heart is in it. I may be wrong, but Acushnet just feels like it's checking a box here. "Okay, we marketed to the hipsters, now lets get back to marketing our PROV-1's." 

Corporate leadership is responsible to a board of directors and shareholders.

Spending time and money to “check a box” that ultimately loses potentially millions, is a good way for a CEO to find out how good his golden parachute really is...

 

 

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Corporate leadership is responsible to a board of directors and shareholders.

Spending time and money to “check a box” that ultimately loses potentially millions, is a good way for a CEO to find out how good his golden parachute really is...

 

 

That's funny. I totally get it. Yet we've seen it over and over again. Corporations trying to be something they aren't. I have no idea if Acushnet brought in a team of actually Hipsters to put together this marketing campaign. But IMO it sure seems like they just got a group of people together who weren't really hipsters and said "How should we market to hipsters?" and this his what they came up with. 

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So basically this ball is supposed to appeal to my little brother. 

Really nice kid. Plays golf once or twice a year. Doesn't own clubs, so he borrows one of my spare bags. He plays in sneakers. We have fun.

Oh yeah ... My little brother also has never bought a single golf ball in his entire life.

 

 

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

 

What bullshit?  

image.png.629832a419f4a5420d922ee844acad4e.png

The bullshit above.

I have no issue with marketing in general.

 

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1 hour ago, leftybutnotPM said:

image.png.629832a419f4a5420d922ee844acad4e.png

The bullshit above.

I have no issue with marketing in general.

 

You and I don’t agree with that statement.  That doesn’t mean that it can’t resonate with some.

Hell, there are active members of this forum who take mulligans, roll it out of divots, and otherwise do whatever they want in the interest of just enjoying their time on the course.  That statement may very well resonate with them.  
 

Regardless, I guarantee that Acushnet has considered this all very carefully and with professional due diligence.  None of which guarantees that it will be successful.  Like I said, it’ll be fun to watch, from both perspectives, golf and business

1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

 

Oh yeah ... My little brother also has never bought a single golf ball in his entire life.

Interesting point!

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