The Challenge

Golf Town is Canada's largest national chain of specialty golf stores with over 50 locations and $350 million in annual sales. In the fall of 2008, with the recession in full swing, Golf Town management was concerned that 2009 could mean a downtrend in sales for the first time in the company's history.

While Golf Town rose to success through targeting the avid golfer market, which they did very well, our challenge was to reach and engage additional segments beyond the avid golfer who would not necessarily respond to traditional golf advertising.

The Insight & Strategy

A landmark RCGA survey raised concerns about whether occasional golfers, who make up 60% of the market, knew the brand or shopped at Golf Town. Our further research showed that these golfers were not watching golf on TV, nor were they responding to current Golf Town advertising. Because only 16% of Canadians play golf, it was important to identify a strategy that connected more golfers to the Golf Town brand without wasting limited ad funds by casting too wide.

The big insight: PMB research showed that 58% of people who watch Hockey Night in Canada play golf at least once a year. This meant that we could reach over a million occasional golfers per game. But how would we make a retail golf message relevant to hockey fans, who only golf occasionally, in March?

The Execution

Creatively we developed 30-second TV spots for playoff games that were very "sports lifestyle" focused, featuring 10 top PGA Tour players that we interviewed and filmed in Santa Monica during the Northern Trust PGA tournament. The campaign was called "The Game" and the tone was very intimate, personal and authentic. The visual aesthetic we developed was drawn from heroic sports imagery and the best of documentary filmmaking.

We negotiated a partnership with CBC to exclusively sponsor Coach's Corner leading into and during playoffs. A microsite was designed and launched to support a fully integrated campaign with all print ads, flyers, in-store materials and e-newsletters during that time period leveraging the hockey themed creative.

The Result

By engaging the casual golfer in a surprising and inspiring manner, Golf Town posted their biggest growth year-over-year, despite the recession. They also significantly grew their customer base and loyalty database due to the large influx of new customers who had not shopped the stores before.

Whoever said a hole-in-one was pure luck?

Top Drawer's media team consistently delivers fantastic MROI through thoughtful media innovation and the lowest rates of any agency we have used in Canada.

— Jane Hooper Perroud, Golf Town

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