Eleven Inc. is the new global creative agency for TaylorMade Golf Co. after a review that included 12 shops, including incumbent NYCA in Solana Beach, Calif.
TaylorMade, the No. 1 seller of golf clubs like drivers and irons, is part of the world’s largest golf company, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Co. Media spending for TaylorMade approached $55 million last year, according to Nielsen.
While golf fans may be passionate about their game, the recession has taken a toll on the expensive sport and the companies who manufacture equipment, clothing and accessories for it. TaylorMade-Adidas Golf has bucked that trend with parent company Adidas Group saying the subsidiary posted double-digit sales increases in the first quarter. As a brand, TaylorMade is known for breaking traditional practices in the golf industry and for its technology.
“This is a company built on vitality and innovation, with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm in the face of some difficult industry headwinds,” says Courtney Buechert, CEO of San Francisco-based Eleven. “How often does a market leader upset the apple cart and shake things up the way they do?”
For Buechert, the win brings him full circle to launching Adidas Golf in the U.S. in 1998, when he was a principal at Leagas Delaney, San Francisco.
Eleven, which also works for marketers like Virgin America and Union Bank, will debut its first TaylorMade work in the fall. Bob Maggiore, CMO at TaylorMade Golf Companies, said the agency “will help us tell our story from a new point of view.”
Buechert underscores that change in direction. “It’s a highly competitive industry where after you innovate others are fast following,” he said. “The category work is fairly monosyllabic and technical and there’s a bit of hyperbole that needs to be dialed back. The actual golfer has been a little lost in the conversation. Recommitting to the core golfer is the real opportunity here.”