Can Wilson’s Driver vs. Driver competition inspire innovation?

By: January 14, 2016

Let’s hope that Wilson Golf  asked an important question from itself last year when the heralded their Driver vs. Driver first-of-its-kind television series that: How can I be relevant in the future in the golf industry?

The only way to achieve relevance is to be engaged and inspired by people. To achieve this Wilson Golf has to be adaptive and proactive. This can bring a meaningful experience for the golfers and other business partners as well. Can we say experience is more important than the product itself? What is sure that the legacy value of a brand will be less important and convincing for customers.

Let’s see the Driver vs. Driver initiative from experience perspective

Wilson Golf will launch the Driver vs. Driver television series on the Golf Channel in Fall 2016. Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins will serve as the host. The jury will be a 4 person panel: Brian Urlacher (former NFL linebacker, now a single digit avid golfer), Kevin StreelmanFrank Thomas (former USGA Technical Director) and Tim Clarke (President of Wilson Golf).

DRIVER VS. DRIVER -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Tasos Katopodis/Golf Channel)


Driver vs. Driver will follow the trials and tribulations that aspiring golf equipment designers face as their golf driver ideas and concepts are evaluated, critiqued, refined and tested. The winning design team ultimately will earn $500,000 and the opportunity to have their driver design sold at retail under the Wilson Staff name.

The series also will take viewers behind the scenes as Wilson Labs engineers and designers partner with the contestants to take their ideas through prototyping and rigorous testing to refine the concepts until a winner is determined. The winning driver concept and viable driver will become part of the Wilson Golf line of products in 2017.

It must have been a tough question where to run this show: Golf Channel vs. YouTube. Golf Channel claims they have the most golf viewers (~98,000 viewers) at the same time YouTube can say they are reaching more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S (= 128 million monthly unique users).

I would have chosen YouTube for these reasons:

  • the content could be more viral —> reach more people (Callaway Golf Talks on YouTube is a good initiative)
  • good for the brand image –> expressing the innovativeness of Wilson Golf
  • facilitating 2-way communication –> more engaging
  • reach those people who interested in golf, but lazy to go out + potential customers
  • It can be a common place where viewers and the participant can share their views.