Golfsmith’s promotion leads to free drivers

Phil Mickelson's Masters victory won Golfsmith customers $1 million in free Callaway drivers.

Phil Mickelson isn’t the only golfer to prosper from his Masters victory.

According to Golfsmith, the Austin, Texas-based retailer, thousands of customers who purchased a new Callaway driver between March 12 and April 7 will receive a check in the mail, thanks to Mickelson’s triumph.

As part of the “If Phil Wins, You Win” promotion, customers who purchased certain Callaway drivers – the Diablo Edge ($299, pictured right), the FT Tour ($399) or the FT-iZ ($399) – at Golfsmith stores will receive a full refund.

The driver promotion requires an estimated total refund of $1 million, but neither Golfsmith nor Callaway will have to pay it. The two companies bought insurance in advance to eliminate the financial risk associated with the promotion. Based on a minimum purchase price of $300, more than 3,000 consumers are eligible for a free driver.

“Phil Mickelson gave golfers across the country and internationally a great present to start the season,” said Marty Hanaka, Golfsmith’s president and CEO.

Matt Corey, the retailer’s senior vice president of marketing, compared the promotion’s coverage to hole-in-one insurance. He said the premium was based on the promotional period, estimated sales during that time and the odds of Mickelson winning the tournament.

The return on investment, he said, was significant in terms of media exposure and customer satisfaction. Corey reported a spike in in-store and online traffic, and said customers were rooting for Mickelson at many of the chain’s 74 stores this weekend.

“We have a lot of happy customers now,” he said.

Added Brian Groves, Callaway’s vice president of U.S. marketing: “We couldn’t be happier that Phil claimed his third green jacket and that thousands of Golfsmith customers now will start off the season with a new Callaway driver, free of charge.”

Corey called the promotion “a brand differentiator” for his company. He asked rhetorically, “Why would you buy a Callaway driver at any other place during the promotion?”

Golfsmith ran a similar promotion last year at the Masters with select models of TaylorMade drivers becoming free if Sergio Garcia had won; he finished T-38. At last year’s U.S. Open, Golfsmith customers had double the chance to win Callaway drivers, hinging on victorious performances by either Rocco Mediate or Mickelson. Mickelson nearly delivered by finishing tied for second.

This time, Mickelson did.

Winners shouldn’t dawdle. Refund requests must be postmarked between April 12, 2010, and April 30, 2010. For those who entered via the “No purchase necessary” option, they will receive the driver they indicated on the official entry form within 12 to 16 weeks.

Golfsmith plans to run a similar promotion at this year’s U.S. Open.

Said Corey: “We’ll do something just as special, if not even better. We’re working on it.”

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