My Library and Courses
Last Update: Thursday February 27, 2020

Key Idea: Co-Brand

NASCAR fans who play golf love the Ping putter designed just for them.

Key Question:


Partner with others who have the customers you want.  Ping has a co-branding program in place with NASCAR because NASCAR fans play golf. This co-branding effort drives potential customers to Ping's golf pros who in turn close the sale. Co-branding is a great way to leverage your marketing dollars. If you can trade mailing lists, do events with businesses who have customers similar to yours or even create a special version of your product or service for a niche, you can bring more profit to your bottom line

Think about it

With whom could you form a co-branding relationship?

Clip from: Ping Golf with John Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing

Made in the USA:  Ping putters. Manufacturing is coming back.

How do I keep quality high? 

Phoenix, Arizona:  Innovators, by their very nature, are constantly going up against existing systems. The establishment. Sometimes their insights do not come by small increments, but by large leaps and then the renegades become outlaws!

If you are a golfer, you know Ping. It ranks at the top with Titleist, Spaulding, Calloway, Taylor-made-Adidas...  Yet , this business is still privately-held; and though the patriarch (and father) has died, his son, John, continues to build on all the lessons he learned as his engineering apprentice when they started this business.

Meet the Solheim family.  Like so many who redefine an entire industry, they were outlawed within it. They broke the rules. They created something totally new. Some people thought they were just crazy, until they began winning within their game. These renegades persevered. They negotiated, and today they are leaders within their industry and on their way to becoming a billion dollar business.

They began in a California garage in 1959. The sound of success here is "Ping"   and today John Solheim continues a tradition for excellence that began with with his father, Karsten.  Together they invented and began manufacturing  the Ping Golf Clubs.

Here you will see how a business constantly strives for a higher perfection.

  Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...
Go the homepage for this episode...

Ping Golf of Karsten Manufacturing

John Solheim, Chairman & CEO

2201 West Desert Cove
Phoenix, AZ 85029

Visit our web site:

Office: 6026875000

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1959


HATTIE: (Voiceover) There's a vault at Ping with some very unusual putters. They're all gold-plated.

JOHN: Whenever somebody wins a big golf tournament, we make up two putters and gold plate them and engrave them with their name and the tournament that they've won. And then one goes to the winner that won the event, and then we put the others here in our vault. It reminds us of the wins that we've had. Seve Ballesteros has the most putters of any of them. And this happens to be the '88 Lancome Trophy. Since I became president, what I'm doing if somebody wins a major--and that's one of the four majors on the men's tour and also on the ladies' tour--we'll make a solid gold putter head for them, just as a thank-you.

BRAD FRASER: What I take care of is currently a new program, which is NASCAR.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Brad Fraser is leading the company in specialty licensing.

BRAD: Well, if you look at the national population, 25 million are golfers. Of that, five million NASCAR fans are avid golfers. Those are people who go out at least once a week and play golf. The branding of NASCAR is so significant in that it goes well beyond any other sporting event. They have 72 percent brand loyalty. Golf is a close second, and that's only 42 percent.

HATTIE: Interpret that figure for me. What do you mean, `brand loyalty?'

BRAD: What that tells you is that everyone who supports Dale Jarrett, as an example, who is the defending national champion, they will support the companies and the entities that support his team. And by doing this, we're hoping to associate ourselves in the same way.

HATTIE: So Dale's the brand.

BRAD: Absolutely.

HATTIE: I mean, NASCAR is the sport. Dale's the brand, and people who love Dale driving a car will buy the stuff with his name on it.

BRAD: Our brand works perfectly with him, because we have a tremendously high brand loyalty rate.

HATTIE: What can any small and growing business owner learn? Can we--do we need to have strategic alliances? Do we need to partner with other folks who have a demographic reaching that is similar to ours?

BRAD: I think you should. Anyone who doesn't take the opportunities and look at those avenues is fooling themselves. You can't do it all by yourself.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) By the way, John's hard to reach by phone because he's never at his desk. He's where the action is, where perfection is believed to be possible. You're committed to help anybody play better. The goal is not to make a big old pile of money. Now you have made money. But the--but do you understand what I'm getting at, John?

JOHN: Exactly.

HATTIE: People start in business today and their goal is to make a bunch of money.

JOHN #1: No, that's not the right goal. This business exists to build a better product, and you know, the way my dad would have put it was, if you build a better product, the dollars will take care of themselves, and we've never really worried about the dollars. We try to build the best product we can, at a fair dollar that we can and provide better service. We want to lead in service, we want to lead in everything. And to be number one, you need to lead in everything. And, you know, but if dollars you're you're just chasing money, you're not there.

HATTIE: It's the wrong goal.

JOHN: It's the wrong goal. If you do it right the dollars will come.

In the Studio

HATTIE: The Bible says `Be ye therefore perfect.' With perfection as a goal, you'll be like the people of Ping Golf. You'll be challenged all of your life. You can learn much more on the Web at

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!