Golf Industry Superbrands

Every once in a while Turfhugger asks an industry expert to contribute a post to the site. Miklos Breitner is an online marketing specialists with a deep passion for business and golf. Be sure to visit his blog Golf Business Monitor or his LinkedIn profile to learn more from Miklos.  

I was reading one of Golf Business Development's edition about a non-profit organization called Golf Environment Organisation(GEO). They claim about themselves that they are an international non-profit organization working to integrate the social, environmental and economic benefits of golf. Their 3 major aims are:

  1. Strengthen the Golf Industry;
  2. Enhance and enrich environment;
  3. Encourage sustainable lifestyle. (e.g. facilitating informed golf tourism, providing inspiration, and utilizing golf's influence)
When I was reading their goals and objectives (I totally agree with them), they reminded me another "independent" organization with similar objectives but in different industry,Superbrands. In Superbrands' independent research process they ask a panel of experts and thousands of consumers of their opinion. In both places you have to pay for using the title.
So is this another PR tool or they real mean what they say? Will they be able to fulfill their mission and objectives? The participation in Golf Environment Organisation's programme rises many issues to think about:
  • Would it make any difference to golf players if they know/aware of this certificate?
  • How this will influence green fees?
  • Can I expect more golf players in my golf club or not?
  • Can I reduce operating costs? If yes, how much (%)?
If I am not able to monetize my investment in GEO than it better not to deal with it. My impression about Superbrands that nobody cares if a company or a brand holds such title, beside PR professionals and marketing directors.

Currently 3 golf clubs holds their certificate: Ljunghusen GC, Viborg GC and Forsgarden GC. 12 other golf clubs registered to this programme: El Plantio GC, GC Udine, La Pinetina GC, Kristianstads GC, Loch Lomond GC, Auchterader GC, Golfbann GC, Zaanse GC, RJ National GC, Celtic Manor GC, Bearwood Lakes GC and Coventry GC.
On Superbrands TOP500 list in UK, there is no golf brand or golf industry related brand.
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I don't really understand what you are trying to say here? Are you saying GEO is not worth the effort, and the only motivation for going green is money?
Also I am not sure GEO is that similar to superbrands. Superbrands is an industry pat on the back, but GEO can make a much more tangible difference to people's experience of 'the product'.
Sorry, you have confused me with this post.

Matt, what I am trying to say is although GEO's objectives are nice, but at the end of the day they also want to earn money. I would not say that they do it only for money. So in this point I must agree with you. :) However I can hardly believe that a group of people and their partners are doing something without making any profit on it. May be it is because I know Superbrands from very close.

As a person who is working in the advertising industry for a decade, I think it is good to recognize high performance of a brand since it can help others in brand management and brand building. This is true for golf courses as well. However, I know there are many misuses. As a result of misuse Superbrands title is nothing more than a PR action. This is my private impression. I wish that GEO will not turn to be a PR tool.

The likeness is written here:

"The Golf Environment Organisation is supported by a global network of partners, patrons, scientists, thought leaders, industry representatives and major organisations such as The European Tour, European Golf Association, WWF, UNEP, and the Club Managers Associations of Europe and America." (of GEO)"

Superbrands: "Every year we commission an independent research process that asks a panel of experts and thousands of consumers their opinion on literally every major UK brand...."

I believe if you do both GEO and Superbrands seriously you will have tangible results, in revenues, ROI, brand equity (see IAS 38.) etc. On the long run, a GEO certificate can influence brand associations and values. I hope that golf course owners will be more environment conscious.

I hope now it is clear for you what is my point. :) If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me: or