Over the past few golf seasons, Callaway Apparel has refocused and repositioned itself from being a predominantly summer focused brand into one which now holds its place firmly at the table of an all-weather, multi-season and all-encompassing brand. Visiting their booth at the PGA Show I was curious to see the 2019 Autumn line-up as I knew the inroads they have been making on raising the bar of this component of their collection. Looking at their dedicated European line of garments it is easy to see a specific European approach to the overall range and styling.
Being able to do this puts the brand in an advantageous and niche position by being golfer and market centric through creating a line which is able to be focused on product whilst being commercial too.
It is fair to point out that the brand continues to emphasize their strategy of being 100% dedicated to designing only golf apparel. Jonathan Dowdell, Head of Marketing and Sponsorship explained “It’s all about offering technologically advanced, high performing products with a focus on design and attention to detail which meet the specific needs of the golfer.
“The focus of the Autumn collection is to provide levels of layering options for all weather conditions without sacrificing the golfer’s range of motion”.
What’s more, in a tour landscape which is becoming increasingly competitive in terms of choice and endorsement, their products continue to be validated by a large roster of professionals including Pablo Larrazabal, Renato Paratore, David Horsey, Marc Warren, Tapio Pulkkanen, James Morrison and Steven Brown. Giving even further kudos to the brand, the hottest talent in British women’s golf right now is wearing their product. 2018 Ricoh British Women’s Open winner Georgia Hall continues her validation of the collection and playing on both sides of the Atlantic on the LPGA and LET, proving that Callaway Apparel offer a one stop shop that can satisfy the tour pro’s seasonal demands and this translates to the consumer as well.
SWING TECH TECHNOLOGY
SwingTech is a great example of how the brand has been working to clearly demonstrate a continued focus on innovation and performance through materials.
It really centers around their product design team coming up with a unique new way of offering more stretch and less restriction through specific seam construction elements within the garments.
“We explored seam construction and materials with the goal of limiting restriction throughout the swing” says Dowdell. “With the incorporation of SwingTech, we are now able to provide significantly less restriction and more stretch in specific areas of garments that weren’t there before to increase the range of motion. As a result, these garments offer noticeably enhanced movement and stretch to the golfer during the swing.”
Swingtech products are denoted by the SwingTech logo and on the hangtag, plus the brand have created campaign assets to bring this to life and explain the technology.
KEY PRODUCTS FOR AW19
The brand has produced garments with a clear feature and benefit to both the retailer and end user. There are pieces which they have evolved and enhanced (such as their line-up of mid-layer garments) and pieces which are really unique, have a niche in the market place and offer added value to the retailer and consumer. For me, there are two key garments that truly stand out and showcase this.
The first is the new Stormguard waterproof jacket, the most advanced waterproof jacket ever from Callaway Apparel. It looks great and more premium than what they have produced before. Possibly the biggest feature here is the 15k/15k waterproof rating. For those that know the ins and outs of waterproof fabrics there is a rating system and in golf, in fact in general, this particular rating is excellent and aligned with those who specialize in this area – it ensures you will never get wet, while allowing fantastic breathability. If you the look at the RRP (£154.99) it is clear to see that both the retailer and consumer are both going to win by stocking and buying this jacket. Knowing the landscape of this category it is fair to say that Callaway have positioned this at a pricing sweet spot, offering a very technical and premium jacket at a price and position in the market where there are not many players. Working with their tour players, the Stormguard jacket has been designed with a full range of motion using SwingTech in the sleeves, and four-way stretch inner lining.
The second piece which really caught our attention is the Modular Waterproof Jacket. You really need to see this to fully understand how unique and exciting this jacket is. There is nothing like it in the marketplace. It is all about innovation, technology and added value. Essentially it is two superb garments, which can be worn interdependently or individually. The outer portion is a fully waterproof seam sealed full zip jacket, which includes a detachable inner puffer jacket featuring Callaway’s Thermore technology providing huge warmth. Both garments are very comprehensive in terms of their design and validation. Whether worn together or in isolation you have all the elements you need to feel protected from wind, rain and cold. To get all this for an RRP of £189.99 represent a unique offering and an opportunity which hasn’t been offered before.
Finally, the brand has redesigned its entire range of wind jackets which comprise of a ½ sleeve, full sleeve and full zip to suit personal preference. Versus their previous wind garments and indeed those in the market, what struck me was the enhanced premium design and features which have not been left to chance. From the detailed cuff design with a ‘storm sleeve’ plus ‘welded’ construction around the zipper, the jackets are a quantum leap from Callaway’s previous offerings in this space. With more innovation, technology, and forward thinking design than in 2018 it surely makes this season’s range a must see.