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Mr. Palmer did so many great things in his life.
It’s only natural that Arnold Palmer Apparel would be doing great things as well.
They’ve formed a unique association with the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation to further the philanthropic efforts of Mr. Palmer and his Family. Arnie’s Army provides financial support to institutions and organizations that support the well-being and development of children & youth, support health & wellness initiative and strengthen communities and the environment.
When you purchase any of fantastic shirts and outerwear available from Arnold Palmer Apparel, you will also be helping others as 100% of the net profits from the sales of Arnold Palmer Apparel goes to support the Arnold Palmer Foundation.
We spent some time with the Chairman and CEO, Mr. Mike Shea, who told us more about not only this fantastic apparel that is available at Worldwide Golf Shops, but also, their relationship with the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation.
“Look Great. Do Good.”
Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops, episode 225. Hello everyone, Tom Brassell again. That’s right, 225. That’s two C-notes and a quarter, 225 episodes in the book. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or you’re a frequent flyer on the starship Golf Better, either way, we are just glad that you joined us and very glad that you joined us today. Our guest is the chairman and CEO of Arnold Palmer Apparel, Mr. Mike Shea. Mike, thanks so much for joining us. Great to have you.
Mike Shea:Well, Tom, it’s truly a pleasure to be with you and get an opportunity to talk about Mr. Palmer, really on the eve and now having started today, this morning, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which is one of the premier events on the professional tour, and that being a very, very special week indeed with Mr. Palmer’s not being there this year. The fact that he is not there in person doesn’t take away anything from the spirit that he has given all of us and the opportunity to carry his legacy forward, for all the things that he really is probably known for as much off the course as all of his golf achievements on the course. Certainly many of his legions of fans through Arnie’s Army and golf fans around the world know his golf exploits and what he means and has meant to golf of bringing it into the TV era and bringing it into corporate and sports marketing with his colleague Mark McCormack at ING. They revolutionized sports marketing.
Going back to this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it’s a terrific field this week. I actually was there these past three days to participate in meetings and many of the very special events. Probably and most of all, the unveiling of a bronze statue, an 11 feet high bronze statue of Mr. Palmer, that is placed between the first and tenth tees for all patrons, visitors at Bay Hill, the professionals playing this week, and for all the guests to come in the future. Seeing Mr. Palmer there is almost as large as life and bigger than life in the wake and reputation that he’s given all of us for his charitable endeavors. It’s truly a remarkable statue.
As approachable as Mr. Palmer was to all of those fans those many years, there’s no fence around this bronze statue. These last few days that I was there and certainly going forward, people can walk up to it. They can stand on the pedestal right next to Mr. Palmer, put their arm around it, get their picture taken. It’s a very fitting and very special tribute that the organizing committee and Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by MasterCard, and Arnold Palmer Enterprises, and most of all, the family, managed to get this commissioned and put in place just in time for the tournament. I would encourage everyone and all of your listeners and customers that will like golf to tune into Golf Channel, because Golf Channel is doing a terrific job of coverage. It’s almost like being there.
Tom Brassell: Yeah. Mike, one of the things I think we all found out when Mr. Palmer passed last year was that everybody has an Arnold Palmer story. We’re talking not thousands. We’re probably into the millions of people that he’s touched over those many years. You shared with me earlier in the week the MasterCard commercial that was … It was brand new then. It’s really gone viral now. The campaign Arnie Would, #ArnieWould, talk about that a little bit. It draws tears when you watch it. It’s just fantastic.
Mike Shea: It certainly does, and MasterCard did a terrific job of crafting that piece. As you say, it has gone viral. As special and meaningful and wonderful as we all see that particular piece, that was everyday life for Mr. Palmer. That was the essence of Mr. Palmer. My company now, Arnold Palmer Apparel, and we produce performance sports apparel and we relaunched the brand into the US market with golf retailers across the country and with Worldwide Golf Company. In my travels over the last year, I too have just heard hundreds and hundreds of stories, much like in that piece that MasterCard did of Arnold Would. That’s his being. That’s what he was most known and loved for.
Tom Brassell: eah. Arnie would shake a hand. Arnie would sign an autograph. Arnie would encourage somebody. Arnie would read somebody a story. That’s just kind of how he was, and it’s really just wonderful how all that lives on. Let’s talk about the apparel. In the apparel, obviously some fantastic stuff. You can find it at worldwidegolfshops.com and in our locations. Also, sales of the apparel goes to support the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation. You can find more on that on arniesarmy.org. Am I correct with that?
Mike Shea: Yes. You can go to Worldwide Golf website and arniesarmy.org and arnoldpalmer.com to find the backdrop, but the way that the story came about in terms of the apparel company whereby we give 100% of net profits to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. We are unique in the golf space. We’re the only company in golf to do such a thing. The way that it came about is we were approached and asked to consider being the Arnold Palmer apparel licensee over a year ago, approached by Arnold Palmer Enterprises and ING. We considered it, and we said that, even though Mr. Palmer’s name is iconic and his respect and love is worldwide, we believed that we needed something else.
We wanted something to really be meaningful and differentiate ourselves from all the other golf brands, not just in product and price and distribution, but really a mission statement. We came up with the idea that, if we were to give 100% of our net profits to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, that we would be alone in golf, and that it would be significant and meaningful and would allow us to be part of the wonderful philanthropic efforts that Mr. Palmer and his family have been involved in for so many years. It just so happened that coincidentally they were forming Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation as a formal 501(c)(3), a charitable foundation, and so we were the pace setter.
We were the first apparel company to give all of our profits to the charity, which goes to a number of beneficiaries, certainly some that Mr. Palmer and his family have been contributing to and funding for many, many years, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women’s and Babies, and many, many other charitable endeavors to help those in need. That was the essence of Mr. Palmer, and our profits will go to the foundation. They in turn will continue to support all of those various causes.
If one of your golf consumers goes into a Worldwide Golf store, they’ll be able to see and hear the story in a small way on the hang tag and through the signage in the store and certainly by going to your website, but the most important thing is to know that they’re going to be getting great-looking golf apparel that’s affordably priced, and on top of all of that, being a part of Mr. Palmer’s legacy. There’s no other business model and there’s no other golf apparel brand like that. We hold a very special place in the business and certainly with the Palmer family and with Mr. Palmer. It’s a big responsibility and one that we’re very honored to have.
Tom Brassell: Boy, it sure is. Like you said, Mike, the apparel is not something that’s 1970s, 1980s-type apparel. This is high tech, moisture wicking as far as shirts and whatnot goes, but just share with us a little bit about the apparel if you can.
Mike Shea: Yeah, I would say that the design aesthetic is … The look is traditional golf with modern updates, which means that we have a lot of stripes in the line. We have wonderful, soft fabrics that are technical fabrics, so that they are performance and that they, as you say, they’re fully moisture wicking. They’re antimicrobial, which means they don’t allow it to collect odor. They have UV protection in them.
On top of the great look that they are, and they’re being received extremely well at retail, on top of all of that, we purposely have priced them to be very affordable for all golfers. Our polos retail between 49 and 59 dollars, and our mid-layer or pullovers retail between 59 and 69 dollars. Our wind wear and rain gear, including all the way up to fully waterproof and seam-sealed garments, retail between 69 and 99.
If you really kind of look at all the elements of successful apparel building and brand building, we have the most iconic name in golf, Mr. Palmer. We have the only charitable component where we give all profits to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. The product is designed very, very tastefully, and is of very high quality and very affordably priced. We’re proud of all that effort, and we really thank Worldwide Golf for their support in all of this and being part of Mr. Palmer’s legacy.
Tom Brassell:Well, that’s great stuff. Like you said, total net profits go to support the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation, arniesarmy.org, supporting children and youth health and wellness and community and environment. Mike, I know it’s a terribly, terribly busy week for you, but I wanted to thank you for carving some time out with us. Final thoughts for our listeners coming from Mike Shea.
Mike Shea: Sure. I would say to consider our tag line if you will. Our tag line is look great, do good. If you buy Arnold Palmer Apparel, you will certainly look great, and if you buy Arnold Palmer Apparel, you will be doing good.
Tom Brassell: Mike, thanks so much. It’s been great speaking with you. Let’s do it again sometime, sometime soon.
Mike Shea: Tom, thanks very much.
Tom Brassell: Look great, do good, Arnold Palmer Apparel, and again 100% of the net profits go to support the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation. For more on that, visit our website. There’s links in our blog, The Leading Edge, and also you could find out more at arniesarmy.org. Many thanks to Mr. Mike Shea for joining us, and thanks to you, our listeners. We’ll do it again next time when we have another episode of GolfBetter at worldwidegolfshops.com. So long everyone.