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Industry News 1/17/2018

Bridgestone Golf Experiences Record Growth in 2017



Bridgestone Golf – innovator of premium golf balls, clubs and accessories – posted the most successful year in company history in 2017, setting records in total sales, advertising reach and number of golf ball units shipped in a calendar year.

The company experienced a significant increase in sales at some of the nation’s largest off-course retailers. This substantial growth is largely attributed to Bridgestone’s continued commitment to innovation across the entirety of its product line, as well as an aggressive marketing campaign. The latter featured appearances from brand ambassador Tiger Woods and encouraged golfers to break away from the herd mentality and switch to the superior Bridgestone golf balls for a competitive edge.

"I attribute a record setting 2017 to our ability to outpace all competitors in terms of technological innovation that helps players of all skill levels find their edge," says Angel Ilagan, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. "While some reports of the health of the industry are not always positive, Bridgestone's commitment to producing the best balls on the market have allowed us to grow at record rates."

An enhanced focus on digital marketing helped to increase brand awareness and product trial among a larger audience. As a result, Bridgestone saw a significant increase in web traffic and quadrupled the previous year’s advertising reach.

"Our success in 2017 came from trial; we know that once someone tries Bridgestone balls the superior performance and results are clear," says Corey Consuegra, Senior Director of Marketing for Bridgestone Golf. "A greater emphasis on digital marketing has allowed us to share our targeted message in an effective way that gives players the confidence to try Bridgestone and ultimately convert to the better ball."

Among the most important product introductions of the year, was the new TOUR B Series of golf balls, which represents the brand’s most technologically advanced offerings to date. Each of the four models – X, XS, RX and RXS – was developed for a specific player type using data from more than 3 million in-person and online ball fittings, combined with insights from leading third-party industry sources.

The use of data mining and third-party validation is an unprecedented approach to R&D and helped not only bring the TOUR B Series to fruition, but also informed Bridgestone on how to better position its entire golf ball portfolio to fit different player buckets. Low-to-mid handicap golfers will benefit from one of the TOUR B models, while the e6 SPEED and e6 SOFT help mid handicap players hit more fairways thanks to lower side spin from a more forgiving gradational compression core. Lastly, the Extra Soft and Lady are for mid-to-high handicap players and provide best-in-class distance and accuracy as a result of increased ball speed and lower side spin.

"One of the driving forces behind our record setting number of golf balls shipped in 2017 is the wide range of superior product options we offer," says Elliot Mellow, Marketing Manager for Bridgestone Golf. "While our competitors try to shoe-horn golfers into their most expensive offering, we have proven that fitting customers into the best ball for their game delivers on-course results and creates brand loyalty."

The company’s commitment to fitting players to the ball that best suits their game remains the highest priority. In March, the company introduced the BFIT golf ball fitting launch monitor app designed to help players quickly identify the Bridgestone ball best suited to their game. This real-world understanding of players’ needs has informed numerous technological breakthroughs. More information about the company’s ball, club and accessories offerings is at www.bridgestonegolf.com.

Bridgestone Golf’s trajectory has not gone unnoticed by the industry, as the NGF recently released its inaugural list of the Top 100 Businesses in Golf and included the company. This biennial list recognizes the successful companies, organizations and associations that are of fundamental importance to both consumers and facilities involved in the game of golf.

Bridgestone Golf’s professional staff includes 14-time major championship winner Tiger Woods, FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, Olympics bronze medalist Matt Kuchar, Masters winner Fred Couples, rising star Bryson DeChambeau and more.