From Buffalo’s first day in business 18 years ago, I knew that serving as a trusted advisor would set up everyone for success. Focus on helping others figure out how and when to take advantage of market opportunities is Job No. 1. The negativity of “challenges” rarely enters our vocabulary. Establish goals, but don’t fixate on outcomes. That typically leads to anxiety, complexity and eventual paralysis. Stick to a cogent process and you’ll get there.
As part of Buffalo’s thought leadership role, we are steadfast in gaining rich understandings of primary and secondary audiences, what they want and how best to deliver offerings. Backed by data and subsequent insights, this approach allows our client-partners to play the proverbial Vegas odds. Efficiency reigns supreme, waste is mitigated.
A good portion of Buffalo’s strategic advisory and executory work is to market B2B offerings, many of high-ticket value. Contrary to conventional wisdom that door-to-door salesmanship is the Holy Grail, today’s information gathering preferences and absorption rates decidedly favor digital channels:
- Discovery and Engagement – 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half their research online before talking to a salesperson
- Collaborative Purchasing Process – 5.4 people are involved in the average B2B buying decision
- Social Media Enabled Commerce – 75% of B2B buyers use social media to research vendors
- Trusted Business Network – 90% of buyers say they rarely if ever respond to cold outreach
- Industry Relevant Content – 74% of buyers choose the sales representative that was first to add value and insight, much of which is learned digitally
With great foresight, our agency has heavily invested in the aforementioned areas. As a result and with a digital slant, our client-partners are impressively selling in and through at retail.
Fire James Dolan
I grew up in New York. To this day, I am a die-hard Knicks fan. I even own a tiny piece of parent MSG Networks if only to occasionally stare at the stock certificate on my wall. There is no explaining the obsession. The team missed the NBA playoffs 12 of the past 15 years and hasn’t won the finals since 1973. Last season, the Knicks earned worst-team honors. Owner James Dolan is vilified in traditional and social media.
Recent occurrences once again disappointed. Against probabilities, the Knicks didn’t get the first draft pick in can’t-miss Zion Williamson. We didn’t nab Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, and lost burly center DeAndre Jordan in the free-agent frenzy. We were forced to settle for a roster of journeymen and player “projects.” In turn, shares of MSG Networks tumbled as much as 6% the day after the blue chips sailed across the East River to the Brooklyn Nets. The stock is down 13.5% so far this year. That’s more than $126M in market value.
This evidences that people buy into hope, and star power is the propeller. Proven and often flashy talent fills seats, makes for entertaining viewing and drives substantial sponsor spend.
Golf isn’t different. Merchandisers and players, no matter the skill level or avidity, do as the pros do. It’s inherent, aspirational behavior. To be taken seriously, brands’ alignments with big names sporting unique personalities and styles render them worthy and give reasons to believe. Without it, they’re just another upstart desperately seeking an elusive “Oprah Moment.”
Bigger brands aren’t absolved from this strategy. What would Cobra-Puma be without Rickie Fowler? Under Armour sans Jordan Spieth? They’d be formidable, but neither as revered nor salable.
Tight connections with players and their agents is another Buffalo forte. We introduce brands to stars and vice versa for winning combinations. It doesn’t take as much money as one would think, but the market trust and authority derived is priceless.
Bringing stories to life is Buffalo Studios’ expertise and its latest triumph tugs on America’s heart strings and has audiences rooting hard for a man on a mission. Our agency coined his journey “Fifty For Father.” Here’s why:
In honor of his late father, Pete Crozier just finished playing 50 golf courses in 50 states in 50 days to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Fifty For Father takes on a cause close to the Crozier family. Pete’s father succumbed to a stroke resulting from complications of diabetes 20 years ago, and his 15-year-old son Gavin was diagnosed with Type 1 at age four. With his 50th birthday approaching, there was no better time to memorialize his father and teach Gavin – and our nation – the meaning of bringing people together toward a common purpose to help others.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Type 1 diabetes inflicts approximately 1.25 million Americans with an estimated 40,000 new diagnoses each year and no known cure.
“As a son and a father of loved ones with diabetes, I deeply empathize with families who are struggling, physically and emotionally, with this devastating disease,” says Crozier, a Columbus, Ohio resident. “While Type 1 diabetes is currently unpreventable, I believe donations from Fifty for Father can provide hope of someday finding a cure.”
Since May 27 at The Founders Club at St. James Plantation in Southport, North Carolina, Crozier walked every step and drove every mile himself. He endured immense heat, hail, rain and even snow while playing. Crozier’s last round was July 15 at Green Hill Golf Course in Worcester, Massachusetts, the same 18 holes where father learned to play.
Highlights include stops at the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Opens, TPC Sawgrass, Pumpkin Ridge, Coeur d’Alene Resort and, affectionately speaking, mom-and-pop courses. Along the way, Crozier shared his mission with Tour and local professionals, national and regional media, and every-day golfers who heard about his story and wanted to “chip in” with support.
Buffalo Studios’ crew and cameras, and members of Crozier’s family, accompanied him on the trip, providing extra motivation and inspiration. His itinerary spanned approximately 15,000 miles on the ground and back-to-back red-eye flights to and from Hawaii and Alaska.
Avis, Billy Casper Golf, Creative Interiors, Ecco, GlobalGolf.com KemperSports, Linksoul, Masterman’s, Nike, Titleist, TPC Network and Troon provided monetary and in-kind donations, and local JDRF chapters have also gotten behind the initiative.
Sporting an omnipresent smile, Jill Headley has been a Buffalo for seemingly forever. As a VP, her strategic leadership is countlessly termed “invaluable” by clients and team members. With business and marketing savvy beyond compare, and special talent in media buying and all things digital and analytics, Jill also personifies Buffalo’s fun side:
- Donuts, cake or cookies? – Ice Cream!
- Red or white wine? –That’s like asking which one of your children you love more.
- Golf and life similarities – First, neither golf nor life is easy, so you must choose to make it fun. Second, the most rewarding aspect of either is enjoying the people and the beauty around you.
- Something you love about working in the golf business – I’m in a position to create opportunities for girls and women in golf. I grew up playing golf with my older brothers, dad and a pack of boys at my golf course. Adolescence is a difficult age of change and self-doubt; at a time when girls often lose confidence and boys become physically stronger, golf is a sport in which girls and boys can have comparable skills. My early success in golf provided me the invaluable gift of never feeling intimidated or less capable because of my gender. It’s a mindset that impacts every aspect of my life. I hope to pay it forward to other girls and women.
- Reflections from the Wake Forest golf team –Recognizing that someone has to own the fifth spot on the roster, it might as well be me. Praying not to shank a chip into Lanny Watkins’ calves on the practice range. Being in the presence of Jessie Haddock, the greatest collegiate golf coach and most unique character of all time. Feeling immense gratitude to Coach Dianne Dailey who gave me an opportunity, tolerated my lively spirit and went above and beyond coaching to impact my life. Go Deacs!
- Favorite club – When I was “a player,” it was my 2 iron. Hit purely, it’s THE MOST satisfying golf shot. Now, my favorite club is the forgiving and reliable four hybrid.
- Parting wisdom – “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
I frequently deliver “Golf State of the Union” addresses to audiences far and wide.
The latest didn’t involve travel. As a solo guest on The ModGolf Podcast, hosted by Colin Weston, we discussed, in depth, golf’s economic, social and environmental contributions to society.
Perhaps surprising to some, golf represents a massive $84 billion annual economy. Notwithstanding, how healthy and viable is the sport for current and future generations to enjoy?
You can listen and find out here – https://modgolf.fireside.fm/068-rich-katz. All 48 minutes seem to fly by!
Our conversation covers these dynamics and more:
- Sales trends in golf equipment, travel, residential communities and related categories
- Impact levels of industry initiatives to promote golf participation
- Golf consumption courtesy of the Tiger Effect and TopGolf
- Americans “somewhat” and “very” interested in taking up the game
- Technology and its enhancement of on- and off-course golf experiences
- Influx of millennials and related rumor that Taylor Swift is a burgeoning driving-range rat
- What’s really important to golfers
The ModGolf Podcast (www.mod.golf) features golf’s top influencers, entrepreneurs, innovators and disruptors about their visions and solutions to re-imagine, transform and grow the game.