Golf Instructional Device Set for DRTV Rollout

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Wesmart Inc., manufacturer of a golf instructional device, has signed an agreement with HSN Direct to introduce the device to the mass golfing market via direct response television, online, print and catalog marketing.


The device, labeled Toski's Touch, consists of a strap-on hip or leg pad that measures and corrects golf swings. For the past year, Wesmart marketed it through select golf pro shops, golf academies and agreements with individual instructors.


HSN Direct has taken over all production, manufacturing and marketing rights for the device. The company will begin testing a long-form infomercial for the product in early April. The ad will be hosted by Bob Toski, the product's inventor and former PGA player, and will feature demonstrations and testimonials on a golf course in Florida. The company will launch a full-scale rollout of the campaign by early May.


"We went with long-form because it's tough to tell the story in two minutes. Golfers will listen and want to learn if they want to improve their game," said Mike Altiri, product development manager at HSN Direct, Tampa Bay, FL.


The infomercial will direct consumers to a toll-free phone number to purchase the $49.95 device, which includes an instructional video. Sales representatives will upsell a companion kit for a discounted price and an energy and joint formula vitamin supplement for $19.95.


HSN Direct primarily will target males age 20 to 55 ranging from novices to "pretty low handicappers," Altiri said. He added that though the company will focus on males, there will be a significant number of female testimonials in the infomercial.


The company will initially test the ad on a mix of national cable and select broadcast markets focused in the southern half of the United States.


"We will also do a little bit in the Northeast because the device can be used indoors," Altiri said.


HSN Direct intends to buy media on sports-related networks, but it is too early to be specific, he said.


HSN Direct is responsible for all production, media placement, manufacturing, fulfillment and scripting.


"Once the infomercial is rolling, we will market online, in print and through catalogers," Altiri said. The company eventually plans to market the device through its Web site, www.hsndirect.com, and through other golf retailer sites. He would not disclose details of anticipated print or catalog marketing campaigns.


After the first year of the DRTV run, HSN Direct also will sell the device through retail channels. While retail plans have not been finalized, Altiri expects that the company will try to sell the product at major outlets, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target.


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