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St. Andrews Links Tees Off With The Point.1888

The world’s most famous golf course, St. Andrews Links, has signed up with The Point.1888 as its brand extension partners.

The news comes just weeks after the brand licensing specialist added Williams Racing to its growing roster of sports brands. Hannah Stevens, Head of Retail and Sports continues to grow this important division within the business, which also counts Team GB and the British and Irish Lions as clients.

St. Andrews, located on the east coast of Scotland, is known as the Home of Golf because the sport was first played on the fairways of what is known as the Old Course. That course is indeed old, as the first balls were shanked into the rough in the early 15th century. For those who are counting, that’s before golf balls had dimples.

A little known fact is that the now-globally popular game almost disappeared in 1457 because of the ongoing hostilities between England and Scotland, as King James II of Scotland banned the game because he felt that young men were playing too much golf instead of practising their archery and swordsmanship. The ban was upheld by his successor King James III and remained in force until 1502, when the much more sensible James IV became a golfer himself and removed the ban.

Since then the sport has exploded and enjoys worldwide popularity, but St. Andrews still remains as one of the most iconic golf courses on the planet. Having worked with The Point.1888’s Hannah Stevens previously, St. Andrews has built on its history to create powerful brand awareness and loyalty not just in the UK and Europe, but as far afield as Korea and Japan.

Today, St. Andrews sports a mammoth facility with seven courses spanning nearly 1,000 acres, putting the club is at the top of every golfer’s bucket list. More than 230,000 rounds of golf are played on the courses every year by golf fans flocking from to Scotland from all over the world.

“We have more than 600 years of history and our brand reflects golf’s values of integrity, collaboration and the pursuit of excellence,” said Danny Campbell, Commercial Director of St. Andrews Links. “We had to make sure that the agency we chose shared those values and could match our ambition with their ideas, creativity, experience and passion. I know we’re in very good hands.”

By appointing The Point.1888, St. Andrews Links says it is seeking to ramp up its brand licensing activity, going beyond the golf accessories and gifting markets to new categories that will offer their loyal and older demographic, as well as younger generations across the world, a small piece of their 600 years of history.

Keen to explore fashion apparel, homeware, stationery, personal care, toys & games, as well as alcoholic beverages and confectionary, SAL is looking to develop product ranges that capture the heritage and tradition of the links while still bringing a feeling of fun and timeless style.

Renowned as one of the industry’s most respected agencies, The Point.1888 says it has already commenced its thorough immersion phase with SAL to ensure no element of the program is left unexplored and that the licensee partners it secures share its new client’s brand values.

“With The Point.1888, St Andrews Links knew they were getting an agency with an unconventional approach who really understands their unique high end brand and knows how to find the best opportunities at retail,” says Stevens. “We’re really excited about the collaborations that we can work on together.”

Using its retail-first model, which means creating new products based on the gaps it sees at retail, rather than what it thinks the brand’s target demographic might like, Stephens says her team will devise a strategy for licensee and retail partnerships. This should expand St. Andrews into the new categories it desires, she explains, generating income and a deeper affiliation with its fans.  It will also drive awareness ahead of The Open, the biggest golfing competition in the calendar, which will be returning to St Andrews in 2022 for the 150th anniversary of the tournament and the 30th time it will have been played at St. Andrews.

“St Andrews Links creates such an opportunity with the popularity of golf skyrocketing amongst younger demographics, but also because we pride ourselves on working with brands with purpose,” says Stephens. The Links values mean they take real pride in being active and supporting members in the community, for instance their fantastic junior golf program, which gives free golf to children in the town.”

Anyone wishing to register their interest in the St. Andrews licensing program can contact The Point.1888 at helloyou@thepoint1888.com.

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