Friday, January 4, 2013

Sell Through Surprise

One of the categories that enjoyed unusual success this season was gifts that retailed for less than $25, ranging from exploding golf balls to shoe trees. One of the newest and most innovative products that benefitted most from this trend was Tin Cup. I met with Tin Cup President, Cabell Fooshe who offices in Falls Church, VA to discuss his product and the phenomenon.

Cabell, describe the product for us in your words and share with us the story on how it originated and its growth since.

Tin Cup is a golf ball marking stencil that enables golfers to customize their ball with a logo of choice.   We are proud to say that Tin Cup is 100% made in the USA and comprised of stainless steel.   The idea was developed by Jim Millar when he wanted a unique way for golfers to mark their ball.   We formed Tin Cup Products, LLC in July 2009 and created a website that has been a vital part of the business. We were honored to win “Best New Product” at the 2010 PGA Show, which really helped us gain exposure.  The next key was finding strong independent sales representatives to expand our retail business.   Tin Cup is now in more than 1,200 golf shops and stores across the country and increasing by the day.

Tin Cup seems to be an incremental sale in that magic $25 range. Do you also see it as a growing category and are there any particular demographics for your customer (young, old), (private, public)?

One of the best things about Tin Cup is that it is a great product for anyone who loves golf.   The rules of golf do say that the golfer must be able to identify the golf ball during play and there’s no better way than with Tin Cup!    We have helped to create a new category and we see golfers of all skill levels having fun marking their golf balls.  Other products on the market don’t come close to providing the options and fun of Tin Cup, making it the ideal gift for any occasion.

I want to congratulate you on being on the Today Show. How did that come about and what other marketing plans do you have for the future?

This past year we hired Buffalo Communications to help us with our Public Relations and they have done an outstanding job getting us publicity with the Today Show,, The Golf Channel, Men’s Journal, Cigar Aficionado and numerous others publications.  Such exposure to the golf sector and the lifestyle channel has really boosted our brand awareness and exposed  our unique product to a larger audience.

Explain the custom aspect of the product as pertains to tournaments, outings, corporate and club logos and any other partnership features Tin Cup brings to the table?

Customization is a small but key aspect of our business. In addition to the more than 100 animal, collegiate and military designs we also create custom logos which make for a fantastic giveaway for Tournaments, outings, weddings and corporate gifts.  The process is quick and easy, once we’re given the artwork of choice.  We’ve created unique styles for celebrities, Tour players, major corporations and wedding party favors.  You can also craft a package that includes a custom cup, leather pouch, pen and a clip to attach the cup to your golf bag.

Are there plans for the future for any other innovative products that have perhaps come about as a result of the success of the ball-markers.

We are always looking into other products to help expand our business and make golf fun and easy for the masses.  Some popular items we added recently include Poker Chips and Ball Markers with some of our logos.  Keep checking out our website – – to see the latest.

Tell us how to find you at the PGA show in Orlando and whether there are any show specials or messages?

We will be located at Booth #2216 at the 2013 PGA Show and will certainly have a few show specials for retailers. We’re excited about a new spinner display that showcases 24 different designs and holds up to 144 cups.  Early reviews have been very positive.  Any purchase order of 72 or more cups will result in 8 complimentary cups. We also plan to have some drawings and giveaways so please come by and see us at Booth #2216!!!!!!

Everyone I have talked to who has put Tin Cup in their shop has mentioned being very pleased and surprised at the sell through and the custom service in regards to re-orders. 

As Cabell pointed out, the product is fun and somewhat custom - a magic formula this year at the right retail.
The entire range of items retailing successfully in the $20-$25 range should be targeted at the show in Orlando especially in categories that perhaps haven't been tried before but have a proven track record.