BACKGROUNDER —
Alex DePallo has been a member of the golf industry since his teenage years cleaning clubs at Manufacturers Golf Club outside of Philadelphia, PA. After studying marketing and sports management at University of Arizona, Alex ventured to Southern California to pursue his career in golf merchandising. He currently resides in Carlsbad, CA with his fiancee, Sophie, and dog, Bogey.

THE DEPALLO STORY —

From the time I made my decision to make a career in the golf industry in 2010, I have lived in six cities, worked for seven companies, held 10 titles and traveled over a quarter of a million miles. From being inside the ropes at major championships to dinners with professional athletes to playing some of the finest courses in the US, the golf industry has opened so many doors and allowed me to experience things I only dreamt about as a kid. Now, being a part of Callaway, I am excited to help build the Callaway Apparel brand and show the golfing world what we are made of.”

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You wake up in the morning what’s the driving passion for Callaway Apparel?

At Callaway Apparel, we focus on three things: making product that’s innovative, performance-driven and authentic. Innovative in terms of our product construction and the materials we use. Performance-driven in that we create product for golfers to look, feel and play better every day. Authentic in that we make products designed for golfers who want to look like golfers in terms of both fit and aesthetics.

What was the genesis in creating SWING TECH?

The idea behind SWING TECH focused on re-engineered construction and innovative materials that provide noticeably less restriction and more stretch to maximize your range of motion on every swing. Knowing we pride ourselves on being innovative, our goal was to create true performance apparel with our classic golf aesthetic.

How does SWING TECH distinguish itself from competitors in the apparel sector?

From what we have seen in the market, typically if golfers want product that is more performance-focused, they need to look at some of the more “athletic” brands, which may not meet their needs in terms of fit and styling. With SWING TECH, we are providing golfers the classic styles and fit that they want, but now infused with the elevated performance elements that their game needs.

Callaway has been long known for its efforts in the equipment sector — what efforts have been brought forward to create consumer awareness in the apparel area via the Callaway name?

The Callaway brand is synonymous with being a leader in content creation and storytelling abilities both inside the golf industry and beyond it, so we take a lot of pride in how we message to consumers. We have recently launched Callaway Apparel social channels with a focus on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. This is a great way for us to push apparel-specific content as well as inform consumers about new product when it hits the market. We have also made a greater push in terms of creating content both through our agency, Taco Truck Creative, as well as organic content creators, influencers, etc. You will be seeing much more coming from us in 2019 and think this year will be a true game changer for us.

Price points are a key aspect in the apparel category. Where will SWING TECH be positioned?

SWING TECH polos will range from $65-75, shorts at $75, and outerwear ranges from $75-90 for lighter pieces and $100-200 for heavyweight/waterproof pieces.

What role does customer feedback play and what comments, if any, were included in the creation of the SWING TECH line?

We certainly take the feedback that we get, not only from consumers, but our key retail partners, employees and more, and work to incorporate that into our new releases. We have a new design team in place and the Spring 2019 line is the first that they had complete control of. They are extremely talented and are taking the line to a level of quality and performance that we have never seen. It is a truly exciting time for Callaway Apparel.

How important is tour validation with the product line and which players will be wearing SWING TECH when competing?

We very much believe in tour validation for our products. Even more so that equipment, the apparel that tour players wear is so easily seen and is something that is easily accessible and usable for the average consumer. In terms of players wearing our product on tour, we have added 15 new contracted athletes for 2019 across all major tours. On the men’s side, our staff is led by Talyor Gooch and Brice Garnett on the PGA TOUR as well as major champion Retief Goosen on the Champions Tour. On the women’s side and in addition to British Open champion Georgia Hall, we have added future stars Emma Talley and Cheyenne Knight, as well as the #15 player in the world, Carlota Ciganda.

If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?

I would get rid of the “re-tee” on a ball hit out of bounds off the tee. I think everything should be played laterally. What is worse than getting to where you think a ball landed, not finding it, and having to go back and re-tee laying 3. It slows down the game and is not as fun for your average golfer.

Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?

I don’t remember who said it, but I was told “Great opportunities and great timing rarely line up. When an opportunity presents itself that will help you progress in life or be happier than you are now, jump on it and figure out the details later. You never know how long those opportunities will be available.”

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