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Bridgestone - Tiger effect

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Another quality industry scoop by Barbajo on Bridgestone and current sales.

https://mygolfspy.com/bridgestone-golf-ceo-dismissed/

 

If you haven't checked out his—dare I say long-form journalism—take on Taylormade's decline, you should really check it out.

https://mygolfspy.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-taylormade-part-1/

 

Anyhoo, enough sucking up to the mods!

 

So here is my question... Do you think Bridgestone would have been in a better place had they signed Tiger to an equipment deal as well?

 

I understand that Tiger was already playing the Bridgestone ball in Nike clothing so that was probably an easier deal to make, but based on Barba's story, it doesn't look like big names move balls. Why doesn't TW move ball sales in the proshop?

 

I understand—and the thing most people complain about with Bstone—is you can't find them anywhere to test. Bridgestone could have fired up a direct to consumer model to meet demand from folks  seeing TW swinging some Bridgestone sticks on the tele.

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IMO Bridgestone has no direction right now.  They were a ball company, and good ball company.  Then they started expanding into equipment, but it was kind of a half assed foray into it.  The equipment is great, but there was virtually no marketing behind it.

Now they have dropped from 2nd to 4th in golf ball share and are scrambling.  Bridgestone makes great products, but they need a complete overhaul to their approach to marketing.

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Tiger should just buy the golf ball division. Throw a swoosh,B and a TM logo on it... boom.

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IMO Bridgestone has no direction right now.  They were a ball company, and good ball company.  Then they started expanding into equipment, but it was kind of a half assed foray into it.  The equipment is great, but there was virtually no marketing behind it.

Now they have dropped from 2nd to 4th in golf ball share and are scrambling.  Bridgestone makes great products, but they need a complete overhaul to their approach to marketing.

I'm with Jlukes here. The focus seems to have shifted more towards the equipment side away from the ball. In my area their Reps have been really aggressive in trying to get the good college players on staff and get their product in their bags. It seems to be happening on the PGA Professional side too. Its almost like they have tried to push their equipment and just figuring that people will naturally pair them with their ball as well.   

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They had a good thing going with their balk fitting, both online and in person. Then they went to that terrible app and things went downhill from there, their message went from playing a ball fitted to you to... well, I'm honestly not sure since their messaging has been a mess.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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They were definitely revolutionary in creating ball fittings, but and serious golfer knows you working from the green back when choosing a ball and Bridgestone ball fittings were based purely on driver performance.

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They were definitely revolutionary in creating ball fittings, but and serious golfer knows you working from the green back when choosing a ball and Bridgestone ball fittings were based purely on driver performance.

 

 

Totally agree, but driver distance sells! At least they were good enough at marketing to identify that part of their ball fitting as an effective sales niche.

 

I wonder if TW couldn't move product for them because balls are a consumable. The consumer is faced with seeing the sticker price more often. They think they just lose the ball anyway so go with a more discount ball. More serious players might have a ball they already like and/or already know about Bridgestone balls. So the creation of new customers just isn't there.

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I don't think the article went this direction, but I'd be interested in seeing what the effect of the Snell/Vice/etc. balls have had on the non-Titleist market. Guys who would be knowledgeable enough to know that Bridgestone makes a really good ball are likely also to be the kind who know that Snell makes a really good ball—cheaper.

 

Maybe I'm wrong; it could very well be that the direct-to-consumer market is so small that it isn't having any effect whatsoever. But it seems to me that Snell and others may end up being a bigger threat to the second-tier OEMs than they are to the 800-pound gorilla that maintains tremendous brand loyalty even at $4 a ball.

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Maybe I'm wrong; it could very well be that the direct-to-consumer market is so small that it isn't having any effect whatsoever. But it seems to me that Snell and others may end up being a bigger threat to the second-tier OEMs than they are to the 800-pound gorilla that maintains tremendous brand loyalty even at $4 a ball.

 

Maybe you're wrong, maybe you're not. Either way it would be very interesting to see market share data for Snell/Vice/Cut/OnCore and even K-Sig. Are they even a blip on the radar when compared to the big-boys or are they comfortably sliding into a bit of a niche market

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IMO Bridgestone has no direction right now. They were a ball company, and good ball company. Then they started expanding into equipment, but it was kind of a half assed foray into it. The equipment is great, but there was virtually no marketing behind it.

Now they have dropped from 2nd to 4th in golf ball share and are scrambling. Bridgestone makes great products, but they need a complete overhaul to their approach to marketing.

But yet are a success in the equipment realm in the Asian market. I agree in the US they went about marketing their clubs the wrong way and was confusing at times. Hopefully new leadership changes the approach and their clubs become more accessible here

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I don't think the article went this direction, but I'd be interested in seeing what the effect of the Snell/Vice/etc. balls have had on the non-Titleist market. Guys who would be knowledgeable enough to know that Bridgestone makes a really good ball are likely also to be the kind who know that Snell makes a really good ball—cheaper.

 

Maybe I'm wrong; it could very well be that the direct-to-consumer market is so small that it isn't having any effect whatsoever. But it seems to me that Snell and others may end up being a bigger threat to the second-tier OEMs than they are to the 800-pound gorilla that maintains tremendous brand loyalty even at $4 a ball.

 

I remember Dean Snell addressing Snell market share in one of his video interviews (which I can't find at the moment). He said something along the lines of they don't even register as having marketshare compared with how much product the companies in brick and mortar stores move. I think he is still doing good business though.

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I don't think the article went this direction, but I'd be interested in seeing what the effect of the Snell/Vice/etc. balls have had on the non-Titleist market. Guys who would be knowledgeable enough to know that Bridgestone makes a really good ball are likely also to be the kind who know that Snell makes a really good ball—cheaper.

 

Maybe I'm wrong; it could very well be that the direct-to-consumer market is so small that it isn't having any effect whatsoever. But it seems to me that Snell and others may end up being a bigger threat to the second-tier OEMs than they are to the 800-pound gorilla that maintains tremendous brand loyalty even at $4 a ball.

I think most serious golfers play a ball that works for them. Personally the only Bridgestone ball I liked was the Treo Soft and I loved it. Then they quit making it. Now lately I have became a big fan of the Vice and Snell balls. I had a Pro friend from Eastern NC give me a sleeve of Snell Get Sum balls when they first came out and I liked them. One of my sources sells used balls. Now on the $4.95 per dozen table he has like grade B balls and not top line balls. He can sell everything but Snell Vice and On Core. Mainstream golfers for some reason do not buy them and he saves them for me at $4.00 a dozen. Most of those balls are grade A by the way. With recent commercials on The Golf Channel I look for Vice to get their name out there sorta mainstream. Especially with their price point. On Core is also doing commercials on the GC. Personally I do not like the On Core balls. They act funny off the wedges and putter for me. If I play a mainstream ball I would play Srixon. In fact I also play the Soft Feels. I am also a big fan of the Master Grip C-4 balls. I also get them from the same source because they just will not sell for him. He told me the other day that folks will buy a grade B Pro V before they buy a grade A Snell or any of the balls I mentioned. Like I told someone on WRX the other night If I ever go back to playing comp or big money matches I would feel comfortable playing brand new Vice Or Master Grip balls and for that matter a Snell too. I do not lose a lot of balls as a rule but I am not paying over $45 a dozen for golf balls I do not care WHO makes them or Who plays them on tour.

 

Just my .02 FWIW 

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But yet are a success in the equipment realm in the Asian market. I agree in the US they went about marketing their clubs the wrong way and was confusing at times. Hopefully new leadership changes the approach and their clubs become more accessible here

I know back when we had the golf shop some 13 years ago now we were a Bridgestone dealer. Had one heck of a sales rep he was a good guy. I do remember this was back in the J-33 days. We had all their stuff on consignment. We never sold any Bridgestone clubs and few balls. We did how ever sell quite a few of the Precept line of balls. They also had a lot of clubs for rent at some of the courses. I do remember they had a deal when if you rented a set of Bridgestone clubs you got a dozen U-Tri-Tour balls free. LOL we bought a bunch of the Precept mini staff bags when they came off of rental. Bought the bags cheap like $25 or so. Every one of them had at least 2 dozen of the U-Tri- Tour balls in them. I started using some of those balls in practice and really started liking them. I did not play them in comp though because I did have a Titleist deal and I loved the old PRO V 392s--- In fact I have 2 dozen of those put back in storage in a closet for special occasions.

 

I think if Bridgestone steps up their marketing efforts here and gets on price point they may be successful on this side of the pond. They do have a quality product

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I worked in sales for a company that made automatic dishwasher detergent. We made a very good product, but we didn't come close to our competitor's advertising budget. I have to believe that all the ball companies that are ahead of Bridgestone are out spending them on advertising and marketing. I like Bridgestone balls, and I think they are as good as anything out there, but they need to toot their own horn a bit more.

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I know back when we had the golf shop some 13 years ago now we were a Bridgestone dealer. Had one heck of a sales rep he was a good guy. I do remember this was back in the J-33 days. We had all their stuff on consignment. We never sold any Bridgestone clubs and few balls. We did how ever sell quite a few of the Precept line of balls. They also had a lot of clubs for rent at some of the courses. I do remember they had a deal when if you rented a set of Bridgestone clubs you got a dozen U-Tri-Tour balls free. LOL we bought a bunch of the Precept mini staff bags when they came off of rental. Bought the bags cheap like $25 or so. Every one of them had at least 2 dozen of the U-Tri- Tour balls in them. I started using some of those balls in practice and really started liking them. I did not play them in comp though because I did have a Titleist deal and I loved the old PRO V 392s--- In fact I have 2 dozen of those put back in storage in a closet for special occasions.

 

I think if Bridgestone steps up their marketing efforts here and gets on price point they may be successful on this side of the pond. They do have a quality product

That's a cool story. Their product has been solid with j-33, j-40 and the j15. I haven't had a chance to see or hit the latest line (other than jgr) which is a shame because the pics looks great and they are right up my alley for what I like. I had j15 irons and j715 driver (was one of the best I ever played). B330-xr and rxs were my go to balls.

 

I agree if they figure out marketing they can turn things around. The ball is an easy sell imo with tiger and Lexi playing it and using them as their faces if the brand. For the clubs they have two issues imo. 1) getting the product in the hands of the consumers here 2) telling a story about the gear to overcome perception of the brand as tires and golf balls.

 

They are a brand I will be following closely to see what happens with these changes. I could easily go back to them in most of the bag

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The new clubs are nice. The drivers are compact and clean, albeit a little spinny for the shafts that we have. I love the X-forged wedges and the previous iteration of them (j15 I think). Those things had like no bounce on the 60. The forged CBs and blades are very soft and sexy looking. We just don't have enough people asking about them or hitting them.

 

 

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