Every stock market across the world strives to find leading economic indicators that serve as barometers of future performance. The golf industry is no different, and the PGA Merchandise Show, which concluded last Saturday, 27th January, at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, is certainly the first leading economic indicator of the year for the business of the game.
What will golf look like in 2007? It should be prosperous and bustling, especially with business booming at the 54th PGA Merchandise Show, conducted under the universal theme of “Earn, Learn and Grow the Game.”
“All indicators point to a highly successful 2007 PGA Merchandise Show, which sets a positive tone for the rest of the year in the golf industry,” said Ed Several, PGA Golf Exhibitions vice president and Show manager. “We are extremely pleased with the quality and number of PGA professionals and key buyers on the Show floor this week. And the exhibitors are having highly productive meetings with buyers and industry leaders. That’s what this Show is all about.”
Preliminary reports show that overall attendance increased by more than 3 percent to 45,019 — compared to 43,549 in 2006. Meanwhile, the influential PGA professional and buyer attendance figures increased significantly as well — by a projected 14 percent year-over-year. Final independent audited attendance reports will be available in six weeks.
Golf’s market leaders, such as Callaway Golf, TaylorMade Golf, the Titleist Performance Institute, Srixon, Nike Golf, adidas, Cutter & Buck, MacGregor, Ahead, Ashworth, Tehama, Gear For Sports, Bridgestone, the Greg Norman Collection and more were among 1,250 exhibitors within 520,000 net square-feet of interactive exhibit space.
If the TaylorMade-adidas experience is an accurate barometer, the 2007 PGA Merchandise Show was an unqualified success. TaylorMade Golf, returning to the Show after a four-year absence, was an anchor tenant in the PGA Equipment Forum, focusing on an information campaign, after launching its new SuperQuad and Burner drivers.
Meanwhile, adidas-Golf was writing brisk business on the apparel side, after enjoying a fruitful Show last year. “Our goal this week at TaylorMade Golf in the PGA Equipment Forum was to educate and demonstrate our products, while the adidas booth in the apparel section was extremely busy selling product,” emphasized John Steinbach, director of public relations for TaylorMade-adidas Golf. “Our involvement in the PGA Equipment Forum met or exceeded all of our expectations, in conjunction with our successful product launch (of the drivers).”
With an emphasis on growing the business and the game of golf worldwide, the 54th PGA Merchandise Show was redesigned to also offer a full calendar of education, career and game-development programs organized into daily industry business themes.
Day One – “Emerging Global Trends & New Product Introductions” was highlighted by the inaugural PGA Global Economic Summit, which featured PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka, PGA of Great Britain Chief Executive Sandy Jones and PGA of Australia Chief Executive Officer Max Garske, as they addressed global golf trends and the economic significance of the game.
The PGA Merchandisers of the Year Roundtable was the featured presentation of Day Two – “Merchandising, Retail Sell-Through & Career Advancement,” while the 2nd Annual PGA Play Golf America Conference focused on growth of the game initiatives during
Day Three’s theme was “PGA Play Golf America & Growing Your Teaching Business”. All PGA featured events were held at the new PGA Equipment Forum, which drew standing-room attendance for PGA of America, exhibitor and special guest presentations.
PGA Merchandise Show www.pgashow.com