The venerable Ben Hogan line of golf clubs will return in 2015, according to a press release from the trademark’s new owner, Perry Ellis (you can read the full press release below). Perry Ellis has licensed the name to Eidolon Brands.
What I find most interesting about the announcement is that it continues a trend over the last few years of companies that are known for apparel getting into the golf club manufacturing business. Consider:
TaylorMade and Adams Golf are owned by Adidas.
Titleist’s parent is Fila.
Cobra Golf is owned by Puma.
and Nike the golf club manufacturer would not exist without Nike the apparel and shoe giant.
If you want to extend the thought a bit further, I’ll suggest that Mizuno’s apparel and shoes probably outsell their golf equipment. The latest sales figures I could find suggest that their running shoes are the company’s primary driver.
Wilson and Cleveland are in the same boat: major golf manufacturers that are a part of much larger general sporting goods and apparel companies. Wilson makes apparel and equipment for every sport you can think of. Cleveland is owned by Dunlop, which is primarily a tennis and other sports manufacturer.
That leaves just Ping and Callaway as major independent players in the golf manufacturing business (I realize that there are other, smaller manufacturers, but I discount those).
And that also leaves a clothing superpower—UnderArmour—without a golf club business.
My prediction is that UnderArmour will purchase a major golf manufacturer in the relatively near future. In my mind, Callaway would be the natural choice. Ping is just too quirky.
Callaway actually also has a tenuous connection to apparel: founder Eli Callaway was a former Burlington Industries textile president.
The Perry Ellis – Ben Hogan announcement is below:
Ben Hogan(R) Stages Return to the Equipment Business
Perry Ellis International Licenses EIDOLON Brands to Launch Ben Hogan Clubs
MIAMI, May 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)—Perry Ellis International announced today that the iconic Ben Hogan brand will return to the business of club-making in 2015 via a licensing agreement with EIDOLON Brands, LLC. This re-introduction of Ben Hogan golf clubs coincides with the 60(th) anniversary of the first Ben Hogan irons in the fall of 1954.
“Our acquisition of Ben Hogan in 2012 has led to an impressive increase in distribution from zero to over 4,200 doors across North America, and this spring we launched a new collection of apparel and accessories at retail,” commented Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of Perry Ellis International. “We are excited for the reintroduction of Ben Hogan clubs to the golf equipment marketplace with our strategic partnership with EIDOLON Brands.”
“EIDOLON’s core management team, possessing over 150 years of Ben Hogan Company experience in manufacturing, sales, product development and marketing, are the ideal team to bring the Ben Hogan name back to its historic leadership position in the equipment industry,” added Mr. Feldenkreis.
Terry Koehler, president and chief executive officer of EIDOLON Brands, is a lifelong Ben Hogan devotee and former director of marketing of the Ben Hogan Company. He is also the architect of the SCOR4161 product line, which challenges the design and performance of conventional wedges and set-match short irons.
Koehler has assembled a world class Research and Development team based in Fort Worth, Texas, where Ben Hogan golf clubs were first produced. The new Ben Hogan clubs will be introduced in 2015 with global distribution targeted in traditional golf equipment channels, including green-grass and better golf specialty shops.
For Koehler, creating the ‘new’ Ben Hogan Company represents an opportunity to honor the legacy of two of his heroes: his father and Mr. Hogan. “My golf life began with an introduction to Mr. Hogan’s values and principles from my father,” Koehler reminisced. “He played with Mr. Hogan before the war and considered him a true hero, so I did too. I grew up with ‘Power Golf’ and ‘Five Lessons’ as my golf textbooks, and always played Hogan irons from my very first cut-down 5- and 9-iron. To partner with Perry Ellis International and to be in a position to assemble and lead a team of equally committed Hogan disciples is an honor I could not even have imagined.”
About Perry Ellis International
Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of high quality men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and fragrances. The Company’s collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses and men’s and women’s swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The Company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including: Perry Ellis(R), Jantzen(R), Laundry by Shelli Segal(R), C&C California(R), Rafaella(R), Cubavera(R), Ben Hogan(R), Savane(R), Original Penguin(R) by Munsingwear(R), Grand Slam(R), John Henry(R), Manhattan(R), Axist(R), and Farah(R). The Company enhances its roster of brands by licensing trademarks from third parties, including: Nike(R) and Jag(R) for swimwear, and Callaway(R), PGA TOUR(R), and Jack Nicklaus(R) for golf apparel. Additional information on the Company is available at http://www.pery.com.
About EIDOLON Brands, LLC.
EIDOLON Brands, LLC was formed in 2011 to bring to market a revolution in the way the high loft scoring clubs are designed, crafted, fitted, purchased and played. The Company’s flagship SCOR4161 line of scoring clubs has received high acclaim for its performance and has earned numerous media recognitions and awards. The core management team, led by President and founder Terry Koehler, aggregates almost 200 years of experience in the golf equipment industry.
For more information please visit http://www.scorgolf.com.
CONTACT: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Perry Ellis International
EIDOLON Brands, LLC
Please visit http://www.benhogan.com