The Association’s new Strategic Partner will play a pivotal role in helping to shape the future of golf club management
Under Armour have come on board as the GCMA’s newest Strategic Partner.
The huge apparel company, who are partnered with PJH Brand Management in the UK and Europe, are the latest in what the Association hope will be a series of similar collaborations that will help shape the future of golf club management.
Negotiated by GCMA business partnerships manager Craig Cotterill, the link will see the team at head office wear Association branded Under Armour clothing, which will also be available to members.
But the partnership runs much deeper. As part of the new direction the Association are taking under chief executive Tom Brooke, Under Armour will also play a role at National Conference, will link into some of the GCMA sub-groups, while also having input into the various education programmes.
“I wanted the GCMA to be aligned with bigger brands. I thought it was really important for us,” explained Cotterill of the genesis for the partnership with Under Armour.
“When Tom came on board as the new CEO, with our new vision for the Association to become more relevant, I identified Under Armour as being a really modern, fresh, brand who would be great for us to be associated with. We got talking and the obvious synergies were there with the discussions we had about our members being very much the decision makers within golf club management.
“It was great to hear Under Armour wanted to play their part and be an influencer around the table with us to really understand what the future of golf clubs – and the future of golf club management – was going to be.
“It’s a great partnership and we hit it off straight from the start.”
Both Cotterill, and Richard Palmer-Jones on behalf of PJH Brand Management and Under Amour, have stressed the partnership is not about a commercial arrangement.
Cotterill added: “It’s about really understanding what the future of the industry is going to be and how we, as brands – as Under Armour and the GCMA – can influence that. It’s not a commercial deal in the normal transactional sense.
“We’re trying to take the GCMA into a new relevant, dynamic, direction through the leadership of Tom. I think Under Armour have that same ethos. They want to push the boundaries a little bit. They want to be at the forefront of everything they do and be the thought leaders in what they do.
“In my experience, commercial deals and brand association is a big thing. People want to be associated with good brands. They want to be associated with success and Under Armour want to be associated with the GCMA, because they see our members as the future influencers of golf at club level.
“We want to be associated with Under Armour because we see them at the cutting edge of golf as well – in terms of thought leadership.”
Cotterill said the partnership with Under Armour spoke volumes about the strides the GCMA had made in recent months under Brooke – “It’s great to hear a brand like Under Armour want to position themselves and partner with the GCMA” – and hoped it would be the first of many.
“The narrative is changing,” he said. “The way we are perceived is changing. Under Armour share that vision of where we want to go and where Tom wants to take us as an Association. The partnerships side of the GCMA is growing all the time. Our coming together with Under Armour will hopefully attract similar brands to come on board with the journey we are going on.”
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