Golf One Media

Topgolf Callaway Brands Boss Brewer Talks Strategies

by | Feb 18, 2024 | BUSINESS

As its nearly-three-year-old Topgolf entertainment division continues to mature, Topgolf Callaway Brands (MODG: NYSE) has created a new commercial and digital team within Topgolf dedicated to optimizing revenue management and driving our digital business.

Along that same line, the company is moving forward is initiating more cross-branding strategies between its entertainment division and its Callaway equipment division.

Among the digital initiatives at Topgolf:

  • Shortening the time ahead of a reservation, where you can book a reservation from three hours to two hours – and shorter over time
  • Variable length reservations  Topgolf previously only offered two hours, but in Q2, it plans to mix in 90 minutes on its one- and two-bay offerings and 150 minutes on two-bay events.
  • Earlier availability for one- and two-bay reservations:  Guests can book reservations seven days in advance. Topgolf expects to move to 14 days in all venues in Q2.

Topgolf Callaway Brands CEO/President Chip Brewer said a company-wide consumer data platform is expected to be up and running by the second half of this year.

“This important project,’’ Brewer said, “will unlock digital synergies across the brands and is expected to be a significant catalyst for future growth opportunities across our brand portfolio.’’

Specifically, regarding cross-brand synergies, Topgolf Callaway began a program by which all Topgolf players will have the opportunity to upgrade to Callaway branded premium clubs at each Topgolf venue.

“By mid-year, this will include clubs specifically designed by Callaway for use in bay by both established golfers and those new to the game,’’ Brewer said. “In the near future, we can upsell this program via the app and in reservations.”

All Topgolf golf professionals, according to Brewer, are on Callaway’s golf staff and can exclusively sell Callaway golf equipment to their students. Callaway will host organized club fitting events at all venues beginning this spring  and will also be the official equipment sponsor of Topgolf’s league nights.

In addition, Brewer said, the company’s respective marketing teams “are leaning into’’ the Callaway Chrome Tour Golf Ball launch to promote sales and trial of our new golf ball.

“Our goal is 200,000 new users coming specifically from Topgolf.”

The company also plans to show various Callaway-branded, limited-edition golf balls in venues throughout the year.

“We have an exciting Callaway and Topgolf golf club program that will run across all venues, and TravisMathew (apparel) will increase its presence in approximately one-third of the venues where the price point works effectively,’’ Brewer said. “And later in the year, we’ll be implementing a new Callaway digital kiosk in the lobby of all venues – a piece that we hope will amaze and delight all the new and existing golfers that visit the venues during the year.’’

Toward the end of 2023 – or early ‘24 – the company will introduce specific Callaway-branded golf equipment designed for the beginner golfers being introduced to the sport via Topgolf.

“We will then leverage the consumer data platform and our digital teams to market this product to these new players, thus creating a competitive advantage and reach to what should be the largest single source of new golfers in the modern golf ecosystem,’’ Brewer said. “We expect over 30 million unique players will walk into Topgolf venues in 2024, with a strong in-venue Callaway brand presence, the ability to trial Callaway premium equipment in our bays, and an advantage in digital reach. We’re excited about the brand Callaway being front and center with this next generation of modern golfers. At the same time, Callaway and TravisMathew will be working to drive awareness and visits to Topgolf.’’

Topgolf Callaway currently owns and operates 94 Topgolf venues. It has five Topgolf franchise locations and three BigShots franchisee locations. Callaway Golf acquired Topgolf in March 2021 for approximately $2 billion.

“We expect to add another seven new Topgolf venues this year, two in the first half, and five in the second half, for a total of eight new venues in 2024,’’ Brewer said. “We also expect to help open two international franchisee locations.’’

In Q4 of 2023, Topgolf’s revenue increased by $29.5 million ( 7.2%) to $439.0 million compared to Q4 of 2022. Topgolf finished 2023 the the company’s leading operating segment in terms of revenue – $1.76 billion – an increase of nearly 14 percent versus ‘22.

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About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/steve_pike/" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. Steve lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and posts his golf and travel content on his website at spikeongolfandtravel.com. He can be reached at spikee41@hotmail.com.