The 2009 US Open provided an unprecedented opportunity for brand partnership – the Open was being held in Long Island, NY, so we selected a space in Manhattan for our Ashworth Pop-Up art gallery. The concept was truly born of looking for a way to tie in to the Open in a tangible way.
▶ Since adidas’ 11.08 acquisition of Ashworth, the brand had been under the radar to an extent… we wanted to relaunch with a splash; this was Ashworth’s grand reemergence. We needed a concept that would grab the attention of our target market; something different, polished but fun. The Pop-Up gave us an opportunity to be more than just another store front. We sold US Open logo gear and our Ashworth apparel, sure – but that wasn’t the goal of the space. The goal was brand awareness. We wanted our trendy SoHo neighbors and tourists to the area to notice we were there and to be drawn in by the art and intrigue of the gallery.
How did the experience integrate into Ashworth’s (TMaG’s) broader market portfolio?
The Ashworth brand is about outfitting your lifestyle – not just your golf game, although golf is at the heart of the brand. We wanted to show the golf market that Ashworth is fresh and stylish for golf and for your lifestyle. The Pop-Up gave us an opportunity to showcase that Ashworth is about golf and lifestyle. The gallery nature catered to the neighborhood’s artistic roots while suggesting that Ashworth is a golfer’s brand for on and off course.
How did you measure success?
Foot traffic was an aspect; event attendance was also key – the photos and footage we have of the event are testaments to that. Media impressions stemming from the evening event and the brand itself, as well as future coverage sparked by the Pop-Up, were a huge indication that we’d succeeded. Sales were secondary, but those were also impressive.
Where there any lessons learned? Things you would have done differently if you could go back?
I would have planned farther in advance. Location research is key – what is the foot traffic by this location? What space modifications will be needed?, etc. Careful forethought and planning can save you a lot of headaches.
▶ I also would have done much more promotion around the event, such as print and outdoor advertising to promote the Pop-Up prior to its opening.
▶ Our street team was effective, but perhaps they would have been more so if we had provided a discount coupon for purchases to drive traffic to the gallery.
▶ It’s important that, because of the short time frame of the Pop Up, you have momentum from day one. Adding these and other promotional elements will help you achieve that.
What feedback did you get from the attendees?
Gallery traffic was very positive. Customers loved the artistic element of the space, and sales were strong. The evening event was very well attended, both by media and VIPs alike. We had consistent attendance of 200-250 people steadily throughout the evening.
▶ Lastly, as this was mostly a branding focused initiative, the media repercussions were tremendous. They must have enjoyed the fresh approach and the event, because our placements were excellent. It was wonderful exposure that had a lasting impact we continue to feel.
How are you planning to use Pop-Ups in the future?
We’d absolutely use Pop-Ups in the future. I’d do much more promotion in advance of the event, combining print and out-door advertising with discount incentive to drive greater numbers to the Pop-Up for maximum effect from day one.
What advice do you have for brands looking at Pop-Ups for the first time? Choose your location wisely. Plan ahead. Ensure time for refurbishment, construction, custom pieces, etc. and keep your budget where you want it to be. Promote yourself expansively for day one momentum – a slow build just won’t do for an experience such as this.
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