Under Armour have come on board as the GCMA’s newest Strategic Partner.
The huge apparel company, who are partnered with PJH Brand Management in the UK and Europe, are the latest in what the Association hope will be a series of similar collaborations that will help shape the future of golf club management.
Negotiated by GCMA business partnerships manager Craig Cotterill, the link will see the team at head office wear Association branded Under Armour clothing, which will also be available to members.
But the partnership runs much deeper. As part of the new direction the association are taking under chief executive Tom Brooke, Under Armour will also play a role at National Conference, will link into some of the GCMA sub-groups, while also having input into the various education programmes.
“I wanted the GCMA to be aligned with bigger brands. I thought it was really important for us,” explained Cotterill of the genesis for the partnership with Under Armour.
“It was great to hear Under Armour wanted to play their part and be an influencer around the table with us to really understand what the future of golf clubs – and the future of golf club management – was going to be.”
Both Cotterill, and Richard Palmer-Jones on behalf of PJH Brand Management and Under Amour, have stressed the partnership is not about a commercial arrangement.
Palmer-Jones explains, “We’ve talked a lot internally about the rationale behind our partnership and, really, the best word to describe it is holistic. It’s about doing what’s right for the sport.
“It wasn’t about ‘how much can we gain commercially from this?’. We want the sport to be healthy. We believe we can play an active part in helping to achieve this but we need to do this collaboratively with the people that drive the game and effectively dictate the experience the golfer will have when they visit a facility. Collectively we need to be driving the sport forwards.
“My belief is that nobody is better placed right now to shape the future of the sport than the GCMA.”
GCMA chief executive Tom Brooke believes the tie-up with the apparel company will deliver a positive impact for members, their golf clubs and the industry as a whole.
Brooke said of the collaboration: “What really is particularly exciting about this partnership is the mutual commitment to supporting personal development, leadership skills and wellbeing and the positive impact that this could deliver for our members, their golf clubs and the industry as a whole.
“It really is a great compliment to our association that such a highly respected and well recognised brand as Under Armour have chosen to work with us and I’m extremely grateful to Richard and his team for their input and involvement with us so far.”
You can hear from Palmer-Jones here, and read how GCMA business partnerships manager Craig Cotterill negotiated the partnership with Under Armour, and its wider aims, by reading this piece.