Mizuno Challenge puts JPX-800 irons to the test

Mizuno's JPX-800 iron

Let’s face it, you’ll never hit a baseball like Colorado Rockies star Todd Helton or Milwaukee Brewers slugger Corey Hart, but you might be able to hit a golf ball like them and other Major League baseball players. That’s the opportunity Mizuno Golf is giving consumers through its JPX-800 Swing To Win Challenge. Check out Mizuno’s Golf microsite at www.MizunoChallenge.com, to find out how you can win one of 800 prizes, including the grand prize – a dream foursome with a guest and PGA Tour stars (and Mizuno Golf staffers) Luke Donald and Charles Howell III.

It’s all part of what one might consider the “new” Mizuno Golf. I know, the company has been around for a long time making terrific golf clubs, especially irons such as its MP franchise. Trouble is, most average players have pigeon-holed Mizuno Golf into that “great clubs but I’m not good enough to hit them,” category.

That’s where the JPX-800 line comes in as Mizuno Golf’s “game improvement’’ category. And that’s not just marketing talk Give the JPX-800 driver and irons are try and chances are you’ll see they are every bit as good for average players as the MP line is for better players and PGA Tour players.

“JPX already was established in Japan but we wanted to take it global,” said Chuck Couch, director of golf marketing for Mizuno USA. “We got together with our teams from around the world and asked, ‘how do we take the message to our customers and consumers?’”

The answer was the JPX-800 Swing To Win Challenge that is fronted by some of Mizuno Major League Baseball stars such as Helton and Hart. This past Spring Training, Mizuno Golf reps put 12 of Mizuno big leaguers to the test of comparing each of their “gamer” 6-iron to a JPX-800 6-iron. The result, not surprisingly, was nearly all of the ball players improved their distance with the JPX 6-iron. Click on the Mizuno Challenge web site and see for yourself. It’s all part of Mizuno Golf’s ‘game improvement’’ message.

Perhaps just as important as the results is the fact that Mizuno USA is “cross-pollinating’’ its athletes. That is, using its athletes from other sports promote Mizuno Golf and Mizuno as a brand. Golf isn’t the sports where such promotion is taking place. Mizuno, for example, is using women’s softball star Jennie Finch to help draw attention to its running lines by having the 2004 Olympic champion run a marathon in Mizuno product.

“As an athlete, Jennie Finch is iconic enough so that we can do that,” Couch said. “And were going to try and do that across the board.”

Welcome to the new Mizuno.

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