Three Massachusetts Guys and a Star
It was Massachusetts native, Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Hitch your wagon to a TravisMathew Tour Bus”, or was it, “Hitch your wagon to a star”? Either way, TravisMathew is a star in the golf-lifestyle apparel industry and we should all hitch along for the ride. (For the record, if you haven’t experienced the TM Tour Bus, do so!).
I recently had the opportunity to interview the brand’s New England/Upstate New York Sales Professional, Steve Show (like me also a Massachusetts resident) over lunch. We chatted about golf (duh!), fashion (shocking, right?), FFF (I will explain shortly), being sexy (did I get your attention now?), and manifest destiny.
When Callaway announced in August that it had purchased TravisMathew for $125.5 million, it left many of us wondering what would happen to the iconic Southern California brand. Fear not, fellow TravisMathew devotees, almost a year since the announcement, I am here to tell you that the brand is as AWESOME as ever! With plans to get even better. If that is even possible…
Apparel brands don’t survive in this market if they don’t consistently provide a quality product. TravisMathew focuses first and foremost on FFF; FIT, FABRICATION, FEEL. However, I think it is the silent “F” that is the most appealing; FUN. TravisMathew is a fun brand. We all want to associate with brands that embody how we view ourselves. TM personifies a hip, cool, casual California vibe. Their apparel screams style, substance, and apparently, sex appeal…
When Harry Met Sally
Steve shared a story of a husband and wife (let’s call them Harry and Sally) that visited the TM Tour Bus at a recent PGA Tour event. Sally was zealously going through all of the TravisMathew apparel, when she became flushed and exclaimed to Harry, “This stuff is so much sexier than any other golf clothing!”
Sexier?! “I’ll have what she is having!”
In addition to its potential amatory effects, TravisMathew is apparel for every guy in every situation. On and off the golf course! They are a lifestyle brand that appeals to men (and apparently women–have you seen #StealHisTM) of all shapes and sizes (yes, even a dad bod) with their classic American fit.
Epitomizing Southern California style, TravisMathew’s eastward expansion was inevitable. They have subtly developed a more palatable style and colors for their East Coast audience while remaining true to their heritage. As an astute golf-fashion observer, I have monitored their growth and visibility throughout New England; on golf courses, in pro shops and the streets of Boston, and their popularity is off the charts and getting bigger.
TravisMathew hats have always been some of the best fitting and most stylish lids on the market. For those of you who do not live in California, Texas or Colorado and felt a tinge of jealousy that you could not represent TM and your state pride at the same time, you will be excited to know that there are plans to roll out a new collection of state hats in June (Massachusetts will be included–and the line forms behind me).
Accessories, in general, are a huge growth area for the brand. The Cuater belts and footwear have a lot of momentum. As a self-proclaimed “belt guy” I was blown away by the quality and styling of the Cuater offerings. Two of my favorites are the Sharks and Pivot. These are a great way to add a bit of flair to your wardrobe for under $50.
Champion of Individuality
Back to Ralph Waldo Emerson for a minute. He and TravisMathew have more in common than one might think. Mr. Emerson was a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. What does that have to do with TM and golf, you ask? TravisMathew was one of the first American golf-lifestyle brands to successfully encourage us to ditch the golf uniform and express individuality on the course and off it. They gave us a fun stylish alternative to what everyone else was wearing on the course without being obnoxious.
Sneaky Life of the Party
Before we parted I asked Steve Show how he would describe the brand. He replied, “We’re the sneaky life of the party and the most interesting man in the world!” That is pretty AWESOME!
With what they’ve done and where they are going, I will continue to hitch my wagon to this star and I call “shotgun” for the ride!