Golf Company Infomercial to Take Swing at Holiday Shoppers

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MG Golf, a 2-year-old golf equipment company, is preparing its first infomercial for its MG Driver in an attempt to bolster sales this holiday season.


The company has been developing its flagship product for the past two years and had a limited launch in the spring, but the full-scale launch will coincide with the infomercial campaign, which is expected to begin by the end of this month.


"We want to get out the campaign before the holiday season," said Dave Montgomery, secretary treasurer at MG Golf, Etna Green, IN. "While golf is a warm-weather sport, a very large percent of golf products are sold during December as holiday gifts."


The long-form infomercial will feature Mike Ditka, longtime National Football League coach and player; Kelly McCarty, Miss USA 1991; and Denny Helper, former Professional Golf Association tour member. They will be using and talking about the advantages and features of the club. The infomercial also will feature testimonials from random golfers picked while the infomercial was being filmed. Montgomery added that the infomercial also will be edited to create a short-form version after the test run.


"Mike Ditka and Denny Helper are avid golfers and will be able to provide testimonials, and Kelly McCarty, who is also an avid golfer, provides testimonials from a female golfer's point of view," said Mark Williams, founder of Mark Williams Entertainment Organization, Las Vegas, the producer of the infomercial.


In the first few months of broadcast, the infomercial will be primarily featured on local cable and regional sports channels in the southern United States. As spring nears, the ad also will air in the northern U.S. markets and will appear on national TV stations. Montgomery has not yet selected the day parts for the infomercial. It is too early in the process to determine how long the campaign will run, he said.


MG Golf is looking to target an equal mix of beginning to midlevel male and female golfers over age 30 with an average annual disposable income of $30,000. "Consumers must have a reasonable disposable income in order to afford to purchase our $300 driver," Montgomery said.


The infomercial will provide a toll-free phone number and direct consumers to a customer service center to order the driver. Customer service representatives also will upsell the company's Fairway Woods, which will retail at roughly $220 each. MG Golf plans to develop an infomercial for its Fairway Woods later next year.


"Although we have a Web site, we are directing consumers to the toll-free number, because it is better to get the consumer on the phone with a customer service rep who can answer questions succinctly," Montgomery said.


Early next year the company will send e-mails to potential consumers featuring portions of the long-form infomercial and links to the Web site, at www.mggolf.com. The Web site contains information about the company's products and a listing of the customer service number for further questions. MG Golf is searching for an e-mail list broker and has not yet determined the quantity of e-mails that will be sent.


The company decided to use a long-form infomercial based on the success of infomercials for other golf products, Montgomery said. He added that a 30-minute infomercial will provide the company with adequate time to describe a product that has relatively no brand awareness.


"If you go directly to pro shops, it is unlikely that you can get a pro-shop owner to display a no-name product. Four years ago golf companies like Adams Golf and Orlimar were unknown, but now their clubs can be found in any pro shop due to the success of infomercials," Montgomery said.


The company hopes ultimately to market its clubs in mainstream pro shops. Montgomery would not disclose sales goals for the infomercial campaign.


MG Golf chose Mark Williams Entertainment Organization because of the company's lack of experience with golf products, Montgomery said.


"Every golf infomercial looks the same, but Mark Williams did not have a preconceived notion of what a golf infomercial should look like and presented us with original and entertaining concepts," he said.
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