4 Million Projected Monthly Viewers By May; Announcement Made at PGA Show
ORLANDO–The Golf Network (TGN), celebrating its first anniversary since launching the company at last year’s PGA Merchandising Show, goes live in February, and by May predicts it will have about 4,000,000 monthly viewers in golf specialty stores and major sporting goods retailers throughout the country, it was announced today on the eve of the annual golf gathering here by Alan Donahue, President and founder of the San Francisco-media based company.
"During this past year, said Donahue, "we conducted extensive tests and commissioned an independent research audit with Arbitron to determine how TGN’s concept would best serve advertisers, merchandisers, golf retailers and the golf consumers. As a result, we have enhanced the technology and applications to enable some very exciting new capabilities."
"We also modified our business model to optimize our presence and effectiveness. Initially, we focused on green grass pro shops, and although that still remains part of our plan, our distribution network will now reach more consumers at the primary point of sale."
The Golf Network has contracted with leading golf retail chains and sporting goods stores that represent more than 500 facilities nationwide and expects an additional 550 facilities by year end. Installation begins in February and by May more than 375 facilities will be operational. First tier installations will include Dunham’s Sports in the mid-west, Golf USA, Golf Etc., ParMasters Training Centers and Pro Golf. "By the time our first tier installations are completed, we will have close to 4,000,000 monthly viewers and by year end more than double that," Donahue added.
The Arbitron report confirmed an average uninterrupted dwell time of 4.1 minutes for engaged consumers watching TGN content. Close to 85 percent of the consumers who were interviewed felt that the network helped them learn about new products and services and 40 percent of those polled recalled ads and made an unplanned purchase.
"The Arbitron report validated that The Golf Network maximizes the awareness, effectiveness and acceptance of point of sale multimedia messaging. That was the summation of more than 800 exit interviews," added Donahue.
TGN will create a 16-minute play-list that will be refreshed weekly. The network will feature content consisting of golf tips, golf technology, golf travel destinations, golf fashion and health and fitness. This content will be built around paid sponsor segments and commercials.
TGN provides a flat screen HDTV and the turnkey system to retailers at no cost. The system is fully automated and requires little or no interaction or involvement by retail facility personnel. TGN’s multimedia technology and advanced retail applications delivered via satellite network distribution is projected to increase retail sales by 30% or more on promoted products and services.
The TGN system supports Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which enables an advertiser to tag a specific item and once the consumer lifts the tagged merchandise from the display, it triggers a commercial for that product. In production tests, the TGN RFID display increased sales by 38% percent according to one store owner in California.
One of the most anticipated applications will be the ability for a retailer to leverage the system to provide announcements or interactive remote training from headquarters to one, some, or all of their retail facilities. Manufacturers and vendors can also leverage the same system to introduce and explain new products directly to the retail store staff or even schedule special events to sell directly to the consumer.
"Our technology can play an important role to more effectively link corporate businesses, the retailer and the golf consumer. We are not only providing independent educational and informative content for the consumer, but we are also providing a non-intrusive method for businesses to communicate directly with retailers and consumers at their location of relevance, as well as a system that will help endemic businesses and retailers move product and increase sales," added Donahue.
"With the success of The Golf Network, our parent company, LinksMark multimedia, will be expanding the Sports Retail Networks family to include other sporting goods segments beyond golf in the near future."
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