Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ping Golf Cuts Off Stores that Give Military Discount
I'm not sure I understand how this "iFIT" pricing policy will benefit the brand, especially if this story hits the wires...(if you don't want to register, full text is here)

"...Because of the military discounts, Bonaventure Discount Golf in Augusta and Gordon Lakes Golf Course on Fort Gordon no longer receive Ping products...Karsten Manufacturing Corp. of Phoenix, Ariz., which has a registered trademark on the Ping brand, discontinued its Bonaventure and Gordon Lakes accounts in August.

In a letter to the shops, Ping said Bonaventure and Gordon Lakes discounted Ping clubs below Ping's "Improved Fitting, Internet Transactions and Price Policy."

Both shops give 10 percent discounts to military members on all purchases....

"It's something we put in place to protect our brand," said Bill Gates, Ping's director of distribution and associate general counsel.... no exceptions can be made when it comes to shops selling their clubs under the suggested price listed in their agreement ...

[According to] Bill Sport, the golf program manager for Army Sports... over half of the 63 military golf courses have been cut off..."

This was a front page story in Augusta. Yes, Augusta. Think there are any golf fans in Augusta?

This can't be good for business.


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