This is not your father’s FootJoy. In fact, it’s not FootJoy at all, at least not in a technical sense. But when the company unveils its new men’s apparel line in June there will be no mistaking the iconic FJ logo.
“The timing is right,” said Andy Jones, vice president of gloves, accessories and apparel for Titleist and FootJoy.
Jones said the Fairhaven, Mass.-based company has been considering a move into the apparel category for five years but finally has the infrastructure in place in Asia, as well as the in-house expertise, to launch the new line, which will be branded with the company’s FJ logo.
Titleist and FootJoy staff player Steve Stricker is already wearing items from the new line on Tour and the company’s sales force will begin selling the line in June and shipping to on- and off-course retailers in January 2012.
Jones said the new line will focus on “updated, traditional designs, but it’ll be in performance fabrics, nothing in cotton” and will focus exclusively on the men’s category.
“(The women’s category) is a crowded market,” Jones said. “Our sales organization has a lot on their plate, to add another 200-piece women’s line is not something we’re going to do at the start.”
Jones said the company’s successful move into the outerwear category combined with strong feedback from several customers and clients convinced FootJoy to enter a crowded yet lucrative category, the largest at on-course shops he said.
The company entered the outerwear market in 1997 with the launch of DryJoy rain wear and now leads that category in the United States.
The FJ line will retail for $50 to $75 per shirt, just below the super-premium category, which caters to a “very narrow audience,” Jones said.
“It’s a fragmented industry, but we’re entering it with extremely strong equity in our brand,” Jones said. “We’ve been in the outerwear category, it’s not like we’re entering it blind.”