KH Lee from South Korea hits the first hole during the third round of World Golf … [+]
KH Lee tied 25th in the CJ Cup, but at the same tournament he managed to top the golf world’s rankings in a category he had touted as a career goal in interviews.
As Lee, who celebrated his first Tour win at AT&T Byron Nelson earlier this year, strode to the Summit Club’s driving range, he made a double attempt when he noticed his nameplate read “Sexiest Golfer”. Lee took the prank calmly, laughed at it, and then began taking off his vest, pretending that a striptease would come with accepting his new title.
The naughty reveal mocked was an attention grabbing moment for JDX, whose logo adorned on Lee’s reversible down vest and a long-sleeved polo underneath received extra attention. Speaking of favorable product placement: Lee was the impetus to put an enlarged JDX logo on the right buttocks of the tour players. That cheeky decision likely helped propel pants, shorts, and skorts to the top of JDX’s sales rankings.
“The best thing for us here in the US was our butts with both men and women,” said Dwight Hansen, national sales director for JDX America.
“We have just the right mix of elastane and polyblend that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing a Sansabelt from the 70s and 80s,” adds Hansen, while at the same time praising the crease-free properties of the proprietary lightweight functional fabric.
While the brand has done very little in traditional advertising, JDX’s team of sponsored athletes, led by Sungjae Im, the Jutanugarn sisters, and Charley Hull, claimed six victories in 2021. In addition to the top tier tours, JDX also has a strong presence at KPGA and KLPGA. Expanding this list of athletes to maximize exposure will continue to be a priority. You recently signed up-and-coming Greta Voelker who played college golf at the University of Texas.
An exhibition of JDX polos in a pro shop
“At the CJ Cup, we asked more than one American player if they wanted to wear our product in 2022,” says Hansen.
In Korea, JDX is a well-known brand with 370 clothing stores and annual sales of around $ 150 million, but they just got the ball rolling in the US market. The brand was launched in the US in 2020 and is currently primarily sold in pro shops as well as selected specialty retailers such as Edwin Watts and Roger Dunn Golf Shops, with 20% of their sales coming from direct purchases to consumers.
JDX currently runs around 450 stores in America, with the vast majority of retail stores making up. They forecast that number will climb to over 1,000 stores in 2022, which will coincide with a tripling of the SKUs in their product line.
According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global golf apparel market was valued at $ 834.1 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 6% over the next decade.
“We believe that the golf apparel market will continue to grow rapidly through 2030 and beyond, as a variety of fashionable and functional product categories have been introduced in recent years. JDX stands ready to lead the world in this regard, ”said Timothy Chae, CEO of JDX America.
“3-4% is a reasonable target for JDX America,” adds Chae when asked about his company’s penetration goal.
Charley Hull of England hits from the sixth tee during the third round of the KPMG Women’s game … [+]
America’s appetite for consuming Korean culture has never been so great. In addition to the continued success of the boy band BTS, the films Parasite and Minari have won Oscars for consecutive years and Netflix NFLX “Squid Game” is the most popular series in the history of the streaming platform. The climate is certainly favorable for a Korean golf fashion brand looking to gain market share.
“We see the beginning of what we really think is a true taste for the culture. Now more than ever, be it in art or music like K-Pop to clothing and food. Companies like Bibigo are making great strides here in the US. There has never been a better time, ”says Hansen.