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CONNECT'IWEET LINKE DINCDMMENT EMAILMCIRE (Photo: Costco} The maker of one of the beet-know brand names in golf balls is teed off over Costm's...

Read the short article below and answer questions:

  • 1. How does Costco's target market compare to that of Titleist? 
  • 2. How does the company's planning situation (ie SWOT- strengths, weaknesses , external opportunity and threats) for golf balls differ? (Briefly is fine)
  • 3. How is Costco's product strategy different from Titelist?  
  • 4. How are promotional and distribution programs different?  
  • 5. What type of pricing strategy is Costco using? Why doesn't Costco charge more (even a little bit) for its golf balls? Wouldn't it take in more revenue? 

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CONNECT‘IWEET LINKE DINCDMMENT EMAILMCIRE (Photo: Costco} The maker of one of the beet-know brand names in golf balls is teed off over Costm‘s
out-rate rival. setting off a dispute over the discount warehouse chain's design and advertising claims. Costco is firing beck, filing a preemptive lawsuit last week arguing that it's not violating
any of the patents of Awshnet Holdings. maker of Titleist golf balls. Costco's emergence as a threat to the Titleist brand doesn't arrive at good times for the
golf industry which is already' grappling with a litany of challenges that include declining interest in the sport and the demise of sporting goods stores. As gofl' product makers scramble to avoid new hazards+ Costco is not conceding
anything. In fact. the dispute raises the question of whether publicity about Costoo‘s ball
will only send more golfers on a long. straight drive to its warehouse stores.

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Costoo's Kirkland Signature ball was so popular that it temporarity sold out in 2016. It
goes back on sale in early April “while supplies last." the company said in a statement. At
a price of about $15 per dozen, the ball undercuts leading competitors. including the balls from Titleist. Callaway. Bridgestone and TaytorMade. which are typically about three
times as expensive. The ball. made by Nassau Golf, has generated feverish interest for its mum-layered
interior. urethane cover and low price. according to fan site GoifWRXcorn. tf Costco. which also sells certain Callaway got! products, hooks deeper into gotf sales. it
could mark a seismic shift for an industry that's already in the rough following the liquidation of big-box chain Sports Authority and the struggles of department stores like
Sears and Target. Warehouse clubs. including Costco. Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale
Club. will reap about 12.5% of sporting goods sales in 2fl1?. according to IBISWortd. Indeed. Acushnet CFO William Burke. speaking to investors in December. blamed the Titleist golf bail sales decline primarily on "retail dismptions' such as the bankruptcies
of Sports Authority and Golfsmith and the fact that the Pro V1 belt was in the second year
of a two-year product cycle. An Acushnet spokesperson declined to comment. and
Nassau could not he reaches: for oornment. Tideist golf ball sales for the first nine months of 2016 fell 3.6% to $415 million. compared
to a year earlier. Gates of Titteist golf clubs. on the other hand. rose 9.3% to $315 million.
Awshnet will report full-year sales Wednesday. The decline comes against the backdrop of fewer gotfers. The number of Americans who
ptayr golf at least once a year was 24.1 mlllion in $315. down 5% from 2012. according to
the National Golf Foundation. As interest declines. the number of companies operating US, golf course and country clubs ls falling at an annual rate of 0.4%. according to
research firm IBISWorld.

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