Editorial: Golf: a marketer’s dream

Canadian demographer David Foot undoubtedly has a lot to say about the immediate and emerging marketing opportunities inherent in the game of golf. The basis of many of Foot's conclusions stem from the simple fact that the North American population is...

Canadian demographer David Foot undoubtedly has a lot to say about the immediate and emerging marketing opportunities inherent in the game of golf. The basis of many of Foot’s conclusions stem from the simple fact that the North American population is aging, and that there was a huge surge in the birth of new babies after the Second World War, which brought about a distortion that will continue as an aberration in our population mix until the Baby Boom generation dies off.

Using Foot’s common sense observation that every year people get one year older, it is easy to see how golf will continue to become the activity of choice within that massive demographic of influential fortysomethings.

Many within this (relative to previous generations of 40-year-olds) health-and-fitness-conscious group, are surely approaching the stage where wearied knees are sending messages to the brain that it is time to exchange jogging shoes for a pair of golf spikes and the soft padding of a manicured lawn.

Leisure time, a major golfing prerequisite, is another commodity that is bound to increase among maturing boomers as they begin exploring new, less arduous turns in their career paths.

It also doesn’t hurt that the pool of discretionary income – another definite golfing requirement – grows as significant numbers within the leading edge of the boomer demographic are either very close to, or have completed, paying off their homes and/or raising families.

In short, golf is a marketing dream, which has a much better chance these days of being converted into marketing reality than a generation ago, given the more disciplined and imaginative approaches that marketers are bringing to sponsorship opportunities.

The new Amateur Golfers Association is a case in point. Patterned after a similar program in the United States, the aga will organize a Canada-wide golf competition that extends to all golfers, including those weekend duffers who are not members of private clubs. The tentacles that reach out from this core idea are as broad in their potential embrace as any conventional mass media communication.

There are infinite tie-in possibilities through the myriad of retail outlets and consumer shows that cater to the golfing public.

And with the experience and expertise that is now available through modern database management, other communications tangents arise through customized corporate tie-ins, such as sweepstakes, signature events such as long drive or hole-in-one programs, as well as individual research and sampling opportunities.

Fibre optic capabilities, converging technologies and full interactivity between manufacturers and consumers may be one way of defining the concept of new media.

New ideas that knit together communities of common interest through the strength of their appeal as ideas is another.