The 59th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando delivered the goods for Baltimore-based STX Golf, as the venerable putter pioneers signed a distribution deal with Lutz Sport-Mode AG of Appenzell, Switzerland.
This is the latest step in the consolidation of STX’s 2012 strategy to become a world brand, after having already signed distribution deals in 2011 inSouth Africa, Australia & New Zealand andSingapore.
Although more frequently associated with winter sports, Swiss golf has enjoyed spectacular growth in support and participation for the game. Over the last 20 years, facilities (courses and driving ranges) grew in number from 24 to 94, while between 2000 and 2009 the number of registered amateur players more than doubled from 41,000 to 86, 600.
Against this backdrop, Andres and Daniel Breitenmoser grew Lutz Sport-Mode AG to be the biggest wholesaler in the country, formalizing distribution deals in their first few years’ trading with brands including Taylor Made, Callaway, Top Flite, Foot Joy, Cleveland, Cobra and Etonic.
“Switzerlandis a very healthy golf market,” says Andy Breitenmoser. “People expect the most up-to-date product of the highest quality and best advice. Only best quality can be sold inSwitzerland. We think the quality of the STX product is excellent as well as the innovation, and the STX line fits in perfectly with our product offering.”
A core component of the STX business model is a strong belief in taking the STX product out into the marketplace. In the home market (USA) STX rolls out a diary of structured putting demonstration workshops that are very popular at golf clubs and golfing events. Lutz Sport-Mode also runs frequent demonstrations inSwitzerland, and this is a further synergy between the two businesses. The Swiss Distributor already has some 20 demonstrations scheduled for 2012 with its brands PowaKaddy, Motocaddy and Big MAX. From now, STX will form a new attraction to their demonstration offering, along with their other new brand acquisition Bridgestone Golf.
At Tour level, Switzerland has also grown in prominence with events like the Omega European Masters held in the breath-taking Alpine scenery of the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, and which last year held a purse of just under €2 million (current title-holder Thomas Björn).
STX Golf enjoyed one of their busiest Orlando shows ever in January 2012, due partly to the launch of the new X-Form Series of insert putters.
Lutz Sport-Mode AG www.ls-golf.ch