When the boss invites you to play golf at his club, you show up. And when golf gear makers would get their annual summons from the PGA of America to exhibit at the PGA Merchandise Show, they all appeared. Until some of them found the chutzpah to stay home. Casey Alexander, an equipment industry expert who writes for TheAPosition.com, did the legwork to figure out (with commentary) on all the wayward sheep who are now back in the fold. Casey writes:
I must confess I am looking forward to the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show with more anticipation than I have in years. Just last year in my PGA Show Preview titled ‘Where has All the Fun Gone?’ I described attending the Show to be a chore. So what has changed? The fact that every major equipment company is going to be at the Show this year, that’s what! Orange County Convention Center
I will never forget back in December of 2001 when PING announced that they would not participate in the 2003 PGA Merchandise Show. Talk about setting off a firestorm! Frankly, it made sense, because PING was not a slave to the annual new product introduction cycle. PING introduced new clubs with advanced technology when they had it, and so PING often times came to the SHOW with many of the same products that they exhibited the year before. The consequence was PING often found it very difficult to create ‘buzz’ from year to year.
In the meantime, the golf equipment business had flattened out after the booming late 1990’s and after the PGA of America had sold the Show to Reed Exhibitions. Many exhibitors felt that while business was not growing, the cost of attending the Show was growing rapidly. I commented at the time that PING had a lot to gain and was perhaps motivated by the potential collapse of the PGA Merchandise Show, as PING generally had less to gain from the Show than almost any other major competitor. That comment raised the ire of none other than John Solheim, head of PING golf. Perhaps on some level my comment was unfair, but it did not mean it was untrue. Certainly PING was feeling some heat for being the first to abandon the Show, but they would not be the last. READ FULL STORY >>>