Win on Sunday, sell on Monday? Maybe that's an oversimplification of the correlation between PGA Tour viewership and golf product sales. But despite the number of variables involved, there's a way to "connect the dots" in a way that grows the game.
It's obvious that Tiger Woods' success generated huge interest in golf. That's an easy correlation to draw. But it's more complicated than that, TaylorMade research engineer Brian Bazzel said Wednesday at the PGA Merchandise Show.
According to Bazzel, the tournament golfer is just one piece of the complete picture of the growth of the game of golf. More viewers watching on television means more eyeballs noticing what brand of equipment the leading players are using.
"There's a lot of connective tissue between what you see on television and playing golf," Bazzel said. "For us, one of those things is our product. You see it on television and there is a correlation there between what viewers see and people going to buy it."
But that's not the only factor, Bazzel said. Local PGA Professionals can provide a secondary influence on their own clientele. So forging relationships at the PGA Merchandise Show is a critical component of TaylorMade's marketing strategy.
"They translate to the golfers around them," he said. "We spend a lot of time connecting those dots because it does help us grow."
So what's the short-term and long-term prospects for the game? Bazzel said his company is "really optimistic." TaylorMade just added to its arsenal with the M2 driver, fairway wood and rescue club, fleshing out what it calls the "M family."
"Just over the last few months, it's been incredible -- not only the feedback for our latest product -- but the messages we're translating to the golfer," Bazzel said. They seem to be resonating. And that didn't just happen over the last couple of months."
And a lot of that can be indirectly related to the emergence of a new generation of tournament players with definable and marketable personalies.
"I can't tell you personally how excited I am for 2016 with all the players bringing this sport up," Bazzel said. "I feel they're lifting the sport up and bringing more people into the game."
"We are really optimistic."
As long as golfers at home are watching -- and then buying -- that's a recipe for continued growth.