Union Green

Building a new challenger brand for Acushnet's growth consumer.
Union Green

Uncovering golf's counterculture,
then creating the go-to brand for it
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Spotting growth on the fringes

Over the course of our longstanding partnership with Acushnet, we’ve spanned their portfolio top to bottom with a wide scope of work, all aimed at strengthening their market position, while driving topline growth in a category that’s overwhelmingly played out.

With brands like Titleist that have long been coveted by competitors—both on the green and in the aisle—Acushnet had already won their share of loyalists in the golf scene. But while the biggest players in the category set their sights on the same crowded territory, we looked to the fringes—where a new generation of golfers was rapidly emerging. Young, progressive, diverse—and quickly growing.

Spotting growth on the fringes

Over the course of our longstanding partnership with Acushnet, we’ve spanned their portfolio top to bottom with a wide scope of work, all aimed at strengthening their market position, while driving topline growth in a category that’s overwhelmingly played out.

With brands like Titleist that have long been coveted by competitors—both on the green and in the aisle—Acushnet had already won their share of loyalists in the golf scene. But while the biggest players in the category set their sights on the same crowded territory, we looked to the fringes—where a new generation of golfers was rapidly emerging. Young, progressive, diverse—and rapidly growing.

Tapping an overlooked consumer

Through our immersive insights work, we pinpointed a consumer segment that was overlooked, in part because it didn’t look like any other audience in their target market. These golfers played by a different set of rules, challenging the exclusivity and elitist stereotypes commonly associated with country club culture. By identifying this new, game-changing consumer segment, we were able to uncover a vacancy in Acushnet’s portfolio.

Our objective: fill it. Our approach: create a new brand that would extend Acushnet into emergent territory; a brand that could resonate in the changing cultural current, without diluting Acushnet’s status and longstanding reputation in golf’s highest-ranking circles.

Tapping an overlooked consumer

Through our immersive insights work, we pinpointed a consumer segment that was overlooked, in part because it didn’t look like any other audience in their target market. These golfers played by a different set of rules, challenging the exclusivity and elitist stereotypes commonly associated with country club culture. By identifying this new, game-changing consumer segment, we were able to uncover a vacancy in Acushnet’s portfolio.

Our objective: fill it. Our approach: create a new brand that would extend Acushnet into emergent territory; a brand that could resonate in the changing cultural current, without diluting Acushnet’s status and longstanding reputation in golf’s highest-ranking circles.

Charting a proven path to $25mm

It is too easy to point to big piles of money, hoping to win a share. It is much harder to build a proven, data-driven model that focuses on capturing the opportunity. Online Proto-Selling provided clear data benchmarks for creating a proven path to our $25MM revenue goal.

Sprinting

to validation

 

We used our nimble, digital validation tools to translate key consumer insights into testable concepts, fast-tracking us to an understanding of purchase intent while laying the groundwork for the brand’s visual and verbal expression.

Aligning quickly, creating closely, launching decisively

With collective buy-in on the strategy, we began rapidly building the brand—from the name, identity and packaging, to merchandise, photo strategy and marketing collateral.

10 months

from kickoff to launch.


Union Green went live in January 2020 with two golf ball SKUs and a variety of lifestyle apparel that’s already showing up on the greens.

10 months
from kickoff to launch.


Union Green went live in January 2020 with two golf ball SKUs and a variety of lifestyle apparel that’s already showing up on the greens.

I've never been a part of something that has been so universally well-received. Not only is it the work, but also the process that made Union Green come to life”

MICHAEL MAHONEY

VP, MARKETING, TITLEIST, ACUSHNET