After the challenges of the Pandemic-affected previous two years, ECCO GOLF has been thriving in 2022 as the brand continues to reach new golfers of all ages. Here, Louise Cam, Head of Sales, and Rachel Hartley, Golf Manager for the UK, discuss ECCO UK’s plans for 2023 as they look to build on that success.
With the huge increase the industry has seen in golf participation since the easing of Covid restrictions, our SS22 collection represented ECCO UK’s most successful launch since the golf unit was formed. However, as with many other businesses, we have also faced challenges regarding shipping from factories and raw materials. The advantage of the ECCO brand is that we own the whole supply chain, and we are innovators, therefore for SS23 we have made the internal changes necessary to mitigate these circumstances going forward. Overall, the SS22 season has been a big success and we continue to see good sell through on our BIOM H4, S-THREE and BIOM C4 products; we are very happy, and we are confident that our partners are too. That’s why we are so excited about the potential of our SS23 collection for stockists and consumers alike.
APPEALING TO BROADER AUDIENCES THAN EVER BEFORE
While ECCO was traditionally seen as a brand for older golfers, we have certainly seen a younger audience wearing our products in recent years. Our design team has stayed focused and on-trend with our fabulous athletic design and simple, clean looking shoes, while still being sure to cater for our traditional, loyal customer-base who have been wearing ECCO GOLF shoes for many years. We are renowned for comfort and quality and believe that once you wear a pair of ECCO GOLF shoes, you will be a customer for life. With the mix of youthful and classic designs we really do have shoes for everybody. Throw into the mix our exciting, stylish roster of Tour players and influencers, and it’s easy to see why a wide demographic of golfers are now turning to ECCO.
RICK SHIELS DRIVING SALES AND AWARENESS
On that topic, an extremely exciting time for us came earlier this year when we announced the world’s number one golf YouTuber, Rick Shiels, as an ECCO GOLF ambassador. As we mentioned previously, ECCO GOLF shoes have always appealed more to the older, avid golfer, but with the huge following and reach that Rick has on social media, this seems to have already changed – young, social golfers are now talking about and buying our shoes. It’s been truly transformative for us, highlighted by the fact that our Instagram channel @ECCOGOLF grew by 20,000 followers virtually overnight following Rick’s signing. What’s more, Rick chose our BIOM C4 shoes to complete his recent 150-mile charity walk for Prostate Cancer UK which raised more than £125,000 and brought great awareness to our amazing comfort levels. We are really excited about working closely with Rick in the future on some exciting content, so watch this space!
J.LINDEBERG x ECCO GOLF COLLAB TURNS HEADS
The JL collaboration was fantastic for us as our two great Scandinavian brands worked and learned from one other to give the consumer an exciting twist on golf shoe design. We received fantastic feedback from influencers and consumers alike, with each of the four product drops offering a unique take on our existing model from our range. The collab was specifically designed to be a SS22 product collection, but who knows what the future brings as we are always happy to collaborate with a partner that brings something unique to our brand and consumer.
BIOM C4 BREAKING NEW BOUNDARIES
BIOM C4 has been incredibly strong for us as a business, which came as no surprise to us given its sleek, eye-catching aesthetics combined with ground-breaking levels of comfort and performance. Due to the success of the laced version of the shoe, we have taken it a step further in the AW22 collection with the introduction of a BOA® option. Sticking true to our core values of using quality leathers, offering GORE-TEX SURROUND waterproof technology, with 360-degree breathability, and out-of-the-box comfort, it really is best in class!
EXCITING NEW LAUNCHES FOR SS23
Building upon the success of this year’s spring/summer and autumn/winter collections, we are delighted to be launching an extremely strong commercial range for SS23. As part of this, there will be great updates on our best performing S-THREE and BIOM H4 groups, as well as the introduction of new, limited-edition Henrik Stenson and Lydia Ko ambassador shoes. On top of this, perhaps the most exciting new addition to the collection is our CLASSIC HYBRID model – think formal meets golf with amazing comfort. A modern twist on a classic, this hybrid shoe offers a premium look and feel, with an upper fashioned from rich, embossed ECCO leather, a soft leather lining and a leather covered, removable OrthoLite® insole with embossing. It also features HYDROMAX™ water-repellent technology and a welt made with 52% recycled leather fibres. With this, and the other exciting new shoes that will make up the collection, it will be another fantastic season for us!
THE BENEFITS OF STOCKING ECCO GOLF SHOES
For SS23 we are confident we have built on our internal procedures to ensure a smoother delivery timeline, meaning that our partners will get the right shoes at the right time, to satisfy the consumer. Our partners acknowledge us as a premium brand with premium leathers and tremendous quality, which is why our new collections continue to be so well received. On top of that, our margins are best in class, and we have further invested in our team with the recruitment of another full-time ECCO GOLF account manager, meaning we can now further extend our VM & Training courses, as well as rolling out more 9-hole ECCO days across the country, giving more golfers exposure to our brand in a fun, fast, and exciting format. GR