The FedEx Cup from A Different View

By: Nancy Berkley


Every time I see a green grass-decorated FedEx truck promoting the FedEx Cup, I am reminded of what's wrong with the golf industry.

I am all for the FedEx tournament, which hopes to grow the golf-fan base. I do believe that golfers who watch tournaments on TV convert to real players, which converts to real tee-timers and golf-equipment purchasers. And I want the industry to grow.

But from where I sit, there is such a disparity between what companies spend on courting the male TV-golf-fan, compared to what is not being spent on courting other segments.

I'm a smart woman - Harvard Business School included. I understand that marketing dollars are best spent on best customers. I understand that 72% of the current golf rounds played in the U.S. are played by men. I even understand why Callaway and TaylorMade are not committed to junior golf because juniors are not a "best customer."

My experience is personal, and woman and junior golfers are near and dear to my heart and my business. For the last year, I have been working - gratis - to help the Hooton family in San Diego start a publication for the "tween" girl-golfer market. It's called Golfer Girl Magazine, and we are just about to print the second issue.

Claude and Michelle Hooton have three talented, adorable daughters who have inspired the project. There are over 2 million "tweens" who have dabbled in golf. That's not a small market. And that's not counting the parents of those kids who are important target markets also.

So the Hootons are out looking for advertisers for their magazine. And the magazine looks good - girls love it, and the related website - www.golfergirlmagazine.com, will be excellent, and even educational. We have the best public relations advisor, Karen Moraghan, on board, plus Suzy Whaley and her teenage daughter, Jenn. Not a shabby team.     

But the golf industry manufacturers are not interested. Even though we are talking about a few thousand dollars in advertising money, junior golfers are not their "best customer." We might as well be asking Libby Hooton, age 16, to enter the FedEx Cup.

I'm a good FedEx customer and I know how well they deliver. Maybe by example and inspiration, they can deliver a sponsor to Golfer Girl Magazine: A company that views young girls as a best customer and thinks that the golf course is a good place for kids to be. It won't be a golf industry company. Perhaps it's a Disney, or Kohl's or Wal-Mart or Target or Apple or Verizon. There are lots of possibilities because girls are not only amazing golfers, but good shoppers and consumers as well.

When you have seen the umpteenth green FedEx truck or another explanation of FedEx points by the PGA Tour, think junior golf. How many college scholarships would a $10 million annuity provide? And when the winner of the FedEx Cup holds up the Tiffany trophy and the camera pans to his adorable children running up into his arms, please remember Golfer Girl Magazine. And then give me or the Hootons a call.

Nancy Berkley, President of Berkley Consulting, is an expert on women's golf. Her book, "Women Welcome Here! A Guide to Growing Women's Golf," published by the National Golf Foundation, is an industry reference on marketing golf to women. She is a resource for golf-industry trends and marketing advice on her website www.nancyberkley.com. She also consults with golf facilities on how to attract more women golfers.

Nancy provides a Quick Question-Free Help Line on her website for those seeking marketing advice in the golf industry. Nancy is a frequent speaker at golf industry conferences and conducts The Woman's Only Guide to Golf programs for women golfers. Nancy's golf course reviews have appeared in The Golf Insider, an international golf and travel newsletter (see www.golfodyssey.com). She also contributes articles for women golfers on Cybergolf and www.ladiesgolfjourney.com.

After a career as a lawyer and business executive, Nancy founded Berkley Consulting and The Woman's Only Guide� to Golf to share her long-time passion for golf and to help grow the game. Nancy describes herself as a bogey golfer who is too busy to play enough golf. Contact Nancy at info@nancyberkley.com or on www.nancyberkley.com.

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