Fergus Bisset met with Christian Nilsson and Mats Lundqvist from Galvin Green to talk about the brand, the Ryder Cup and their ongoing quest to produce the highest quality and best-performing golf clothing.
Q: What about crossovers from other sports?
ML – We are really interested in watching what other fields are doing, like cycling, hiking, running. This is because there are a lot of clever brains out there thinking of new ways to do stuff and we have to follow what’s happening.
Q: How important is the association with the Ryder Cup
ML – It’s really exciting and obviously we hope they will wear something during the competition so we will get a little publicity. But I understand that might not happen and I think, even though they might not require it, we will still be suppliers; we can talk about it.
CN – It’s to do with being recognised. There’s a lot to do with self confidence that we are selected for this job, that we are partners with them.
We think that together with the Ryder Cup we can do a little bit more. We hope we can get more exposure outside of the UK and Ireland.
We are established in Europe but the Ryder Cup is good timing, we have a new product and technology we want to launch and we can do it through this event. We are just starting in the US so, with it being a North American event, this is good timing also.
Q: You have a number of younger Tour players on board. By targeting these younger, under-35 guys and girls, do you risk alienating older customers?
ML – It’s always a discussion in-house: what is our target group? And we are always coming back and saying: we can’t put an age on the target group because our target group is golfers who are serious about their game and want to invest in their golf. If they are 60 or 16 it doesn’t matter. If we can offer them something that helps them to feel more comfortable on the golf course, then they are our target customers.
CN – I don’t think there’s an issue with targeting a younger audience. Whatever age we are: 40, 50, 60, we still feel like we’re young, so why shouldn’t we go in and buy younger, fresher clothing? Because that is good for you as a person to feel better and more positive. Hey, I’m still 22!
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Q: How important is the expansion of your ladies range?
ML – I think that the ladies market is a tricky one and we’ve been doing it for a long time and we have been searching for what is Galvin Green in ladies? And we have tended to be a little too technical in some aspects. Women golfers might be more fashion orientated, but we want to combine that with performance. We don’t want to compromise in terms of technology and function in the ladies because that is not us, but we want to add fashion.
CN – There are more ladies starting in the game and we can tap into that. We are not an extreme fashion brand or a unique ladies brand but we do have something unique to find that middle ground between fashion and performance.
Q: What are the key relationships for Galvin Green?
CN – Well, with retailers. We want to be partners. We want retailers to sell the whole Galvin Green package – the concept of dressing from the inside out. But we must be a reliable partner and retailers who use us should see us as a consultant not only as sales guys or service guys. If we can advise how a display should be, when we put in more effort to how we look in store then the retailer will increase business.
We want relationships with the really good club pros who are great at getting the message across. Every club pro has 1,000 VIP customers who he or she knows and is able to speak to and sell to. Which other shop has that sort of relationship with the potential customers?
Then our players: We are competing because, as soon as a player becomes famous, they are liable to leave us for their hardware brand. We will never put a huge amount of money into a player, we would rather invest that in research and development. But we try to work with the 20 or so players we have, to do a lot on social media to help them and us get as much as we can from the association.
And our consumers of course. A great thing for them is that we only deal in golf. I think that consumers like to show people what they are… If they are sporty for instance: are they a sailor, a tennis player, cricket player, footballer?… With Galvin it’s clear that you are a golfer and I think people are proud of that. If you see Galvin Green clothing on somebody, you can say – ‘hey, that person is a golfer.’