This Fashionbiz magazine article based on interviews with Mike Whan and Jon Podany has been translated from its original content into English and can be found here: http://www.fashionbiz.co.kr/PE/?cate=2&recom=2&idx=165942
LPGA Golf Wear Opens its First Store in Gangnam
HANSAE MK (CEO Dong Nyeong Kim, Moon-Hwan Kim) LPGA Golf Wear opened its 37th store mid-March and in attendance was LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who also attended the grand opening of the first store in Gangnam, along with CCO Jon Podany, which drew much attention to the event. At the long-awaited opening of the LPGA Golf Wear store, Whan and Podany checked out the upgraded products and thanked the efforts of HANSAE MK and their only global stand-alone chain store.
At the beginning of March, LPGA golfers first appeared on Tour wearing LPGA Golf Wear at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.
LPGA GOLF WEAR in High Demand
Commissioner Whan, a long-time and frequent visitor to Korea, expressed his appreciation of LPGA Golf Wear’s growth. “Golf tournaments and business has always been very strong in Korea over the past 15 years. Back then, golf wear was what professional golfers and people who enjoy golf wore at the golf course. Over the last two to three years, you started to see the general public wearing golf wear casually. Now there is a youthful and more casual way of wearing golf apparel that shows off style and aesthetics,” said Whan.
CCO Jon Podany said, “Female golfers from Korea play a huge role on the LPGA Tour. I believe that they also have a huge impact upon the growth of the Korean golf wear market. If you take a look at the players on Tour, the Korean golfers are fashionable and they are the leaders in golf wear fashion trends,” as he pointed out the reason for the growth of golf wear.
Thus reveals the deep relationship with its Korean business partner HANSAE MK. If you go in the store and feel the products for yourself, “you see the passion and years of experience through the details and quality of its products. HANSAE MK has worked diligently to build the LPGA as a fashion brand. This is of considerable importance to our brand operations,” said Whan.
Korean Golfers are Global Fashion Forward
Podany said “there are two reasons why we chose to partner with HANSAE MK. First, the rapid growth of its already existing brands NBA and Buckaroo. It’s the confidence in the maintained product quality and brand value that has been built over a long period of time. Second, the passion and the experience of CEO Moon-Hwan Kim in the Korean fashion industry. We met with them directly and as we listened to their business plan, we knew we could build a great relationship,” he added.
Commissioner Whan said, “HANSAE MK is a fashion company with over 30 years of business, and I am well aware that over the past two years, LPGA Golf Wear market has secured stable business and expansion. We’re looking forward to leading the Korean golf wear market.”
LPGA Golf Wear’s success in Korea will play a role as a sprinter to expand the business in China and other global markets,” said Whan. The LPGA brand ultimately contributes to the promotion of the brand’s global reputation.
Infrastructure builds high possibility for robust business growth
Actually, the LPGA brand name allows for LPGA Golf Wear to settle in a favorable position in the marketplace. One of its most effective brand marketing strategies is to utilize the LPGA brand, the dream of the best female golfers in the world.
“The materials and details of HANSAE MK products add to the powerful awareness of the LPGA and complete its brand value. New launch of products checked one by one, functional materials have been used in most of its products, golfers can even wear the apparel when they compete. The functionality and design will be more competitive than ever before.” Whan added. “Despite its performance, design and even trendy sensibility, the general public can afford the prices and wear the apparel comfortably, which is one the biggest strengths” he explained about the competitiveness in the Korean domestic market.
“Since the beginning, I’ve been able to watch the growth of the brand very carefully. This partnership started out as just a plan on the board and seeing this plan unfold before our eyes with the roll out of our stores, it gave me a sense of joy to see sponsored players wearing the apparel at a global tournament like Singapore and fans from the gallery asked, ‘Where can I buy this?’”
‘LPGA = Gold standard’, builds trust in its own product
Podany said that “the stand-alone store in the global market is really rare, except in Korea. I only heard about the stand-alone store from a conceptual presentation, which is growing one by one. Currently there are 37 stores in Korea. I thought it was really fascinating to see the LPGA signs appear in Seoul, Korea’s capital and in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu,” he said.
Finally, Whan concluded, “in women’s golf, the LPGA is the global gold standard. The value of the LPGA, which has established itself in golf tournaments, has positioned itself with HANSAE MK to deliver a fitting partnership. He completed the interview by saying, “due to the collaboration of LPGA Golf Wear, we are able to attain the most suitable sportswear in terms of performance and design.”
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