New FootJoy range
We look at the new FootJoy clothing and quiz the bosses about their big move into the apparel market.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 28/04/12 2:42pm
They've long been the big-hitters in terms of footwear and golf gloves, but now FootJoy has branched out to try and take on the world of apparel, with their latest launch the biggest yet.
The new Performance Apparel range is already being worn on the European and PGA Tours through the likes of Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello and American Steve Stricker.
FootJoy have released four distinctive colour schemes in the new Performance Apparel range, with both a regular golfing cut and a new athletic cut option in all collections.
Each of these is down to personal preference, for those that feel usual golf shirts are a bit overly big, the athletic fit is much more your standard high street fit, and all four collections will dress you up like a real pro - regardless of your handicap!
To find out why FootJoy are branching out into apparel, we went right to the top and spoke to their European Marketing Manager Russell Lawes to find out more, here's what he had to say to our questions...
What's the idea behind getting fully into apparel?
Moving into full line golf apparel was an obvious extension for us. We conducted the most extensive research survey ever conducted in the golf industry. The results of this survey highlighted that there was demand for FJ apparel. Once the decision was made to enter the apparel market the design team knew exactly who to target the designs towards.
The avid core golfer is our primary focus for us with shoes, gloves and socks, and we see no reason why this should be different with apparel. Our shoe offerings cater for many different tastes and this is something that the design team wanted to replicate in our apparel offerings.
As part of the findings from our research study we discovered that there was a fairly equal split of people wanting traditional, fuller fitting apparel to those wanting a more athletic fit. The design team have therefore created an extensive range that has a two different cuts and designs to cater for the varying tastes.
Is it a natural progression from shoes?
I wouldn't naturally say it is just a progression from shoes, more of a progression from our overall offerings. Our aim is to enhance the enjoyment of the game, whether this be from stability and comfort of FJ shoes, grip and feel performance of FJ gloves or the waterproof properties of FJ rain wear.
We looked at our portfolio of offerings and the only thing we felt that was missing was Apparel. As always with FJ the product designs and features were tailored towards performance, offering products which didn't restrict freedom of motion that also looked appealing to the avid core golfer.
What does the new range add to the market?
The range offers performance fabrics in traditional cuts, all accompanied with the FJ logo. We have discovered that the demand for FJ products is huge. We have a large following of golfers who wear FJ shoes, gloves and outerwear, who also wanted to compliment their outfit with FJ apparel, whether this being trousers, shirts or sweaters. The current line comes in four colour collections, Cape, Savannah, Valley and Shore, and it is our belief that we have enough variety to cater for all tastes.
Have the pros had any say in terms of colours/technology?
Our product development team conducts extensive research with regards to what consumers worldwide want and need from their golf apparel. They are constantly looking at worldwide trends to ensure FJ products keep in line with these trends. Our products are not focused solely at 'Tour Players' as we focus our products to all golfers regardless of ability.
We appreciate that technological benefits provided by our products are just as important to amateur golfers as they are to tour professionals, and a result we consult with both types of players when developing a new range.