Chris Garrett worked on behalf of the PGA TOUR for Edelman in New York City prior to joining the Acushnet Company. He began his career with Acushnet
working in Communications for the Titleist brand before moving to a marketing position with FootJoy. Garrett has now been working for FootJoy for almost 10 years with wide-ranging responsibilities from managing advertising campaigns and global product launches to trying to solve the riddle of the various social media platforms and finding interesting and engaging ways of working with Tour players to bring the FootJoy personality, and theirs, to life in a unique way.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
Connect as many consumer with the FJ brand as possible.
What are the most important shoe innovations coming forward in 2018?
For us, certainly the Tour-S will be important. Through working with our Tour staff over the last two years, we heard the need for an athletic-style shoe that delivers the ultimate in platform stability, which was the inspiration for Tour-S. Seeing top ranked players like Rafa Cabrera Bello and Kevin Kisner switch to this shoe immediately validates the research and development. Also, ProSL, which is the hottest shoe on Tour with more players in the top 100 wearing it than any other, continues to just explode at all levels of the game. It could become our most successful shoe ever — which with over 160 years of shoe-making, is saying something.
Describe who the FootJoy customer is?
Anyone who is passionate about the game of golf!
What’s the biggest mistake people make when picking out golf shoes?
First and foremost, size. Through our thousands of shoe fittings around the world, we’ve discovered that 70% of golfers are wearing the wrong sizeshoe. It’s bordering on an epidemic. We need to ensure size is correct before moving on to determine which type of golf shoe is best for a player.
Are there different emphasis points for men and women when deciding upon golf shoes?
Not necessarily. We believe both men and women are seeking golf shoes that look good, are comfortable and perform. Performance means different things for different players but, no matter what situation you’re in, when you’re on the golf course for four to six hours, the last thing you should be worried about is your golf shoes.
A number of companies stress the importance of customer service — define the term from the FootJoy perspective.
Just like in every product category we compete, our goal in customer service is to be #1.
How does FootJoy assess feedback and what role does it play in the development of future golf shoe products?
Feedback is essential to product design and development and we gather it throughout the pyramid of influence — from our Tour players and influential club professionals to avid players and golf enthusiasts. We are constantly improving based on insight from golfers of all levels.
How difficult is it to balance the needs of different customers — those preferring traditional looking golf shoes versus those wanting a more athletic versatile product?
Not too difficult for FootJoy since we have an extensive line that strives to meet the style preferences of most players. Whether it’s the traditional styling of ICON Black, DryJoys Tour or ContourFIT, or the athletic styling of the new Tour-S, DNA Helix or highly successful ProSL, our goal is to deliver a line that caters to a vast majority of players. And this goes beyond style. We also offer a variety of outsole options — cleated, spikeless, hybrid — and more sizes that any other golf shoe brand to ensure that we can deliver whatever the golfer is looking for in a shoe.
FootJoy uses the promotional line — “The mark of a player.” What message is being conveyed by its usage?
When you wear the FJ mark, you define yourself as a player who is committed to the game of golf. Think about this — if you see someone in the airport or a restaurant wearing something adorned with the FJ logo, you know for certain that they’re connected to the game of golf.
Biggest challenge facing FootJoy — short and long term?
From my seat, I think the answer is the same. How can we find and connect with golfers in a more frequent and meaningful way?
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