Bonobos may be a new threat in the golf apparel game.
The men’s wear brand known for its “better fitting, better looking” men’s clothing recently announced it landed an endorsement deal from, arguably, the world’s best golfer Justin Rose—putting the brand’s new golf line on the sportswear map.
“When we decided to draw attention to our golf line, we wanted to work with someone who not only was a great representation on the course but in everyday life as well,” Micky Onvural, CEO of Bonobos said. “Justin’s presence and power in the game of golf was a huge draw for us as a brand. He brings a level of credibility to who we are and what we’re doing in the line, in addition to being a great role model of what it means to be a modern man today.”
Rose exited 2018 with endorsement deals from Taylormade for his golf clubs and Adidas for his on-course apparel. Less than a week into 2019, both have been replaced with younger, up-and-coming brands.
“I’ve been a personal fan of Bonobos for quite some time, both for their attention to detail when it comes to product as well as the brand’s mission to create a more inclusive, diverse world for everyone,” Rose said in a prepared statement. “We share a strong passion to be more than only a clothing brand or only a golfer and I’m excited we get to do that work together as partners.”
Bonobos has made a name for itself in men’s wear by providing comfort focused, stylish fits for men who want to look put together without wearing what their fathers wore. As it turns out, Rose faced the same challenge on the golf course.
A blog post on the Bonobos website announcing the deal recounts a story in which Rose took his traditionally garish golf getup, bright white pants and an orange polo, to a local coffee shop after a round.
“It was kind of okay on the golf course,” Rose remembered. But, when he found himself around others less versed in the quirky stylings of the pastime, he found himself thinking, “I look ridiculous.”
According to Rose, that’s what spurred the change away from the traditional golf attire, which is now much more akin to everyday sports apparel, to a more nuanced look from Bonobos he could safely take off the course.
“I feel like with Bonobos, I’m going to have the opportunity just to step out of the box a little bit more than I have in the past, which will be fun. I wanted something different, I wanted something where I felt cool and comfortable on the course,” Rose admitted. “But, I felt like [the collection] translated to my life and my world off the course.”
Bonobos is no stranger to celebrity endorsements, in 2016 it signed NBA forward, Jimmy Butler, to be the head of its new ad campaign. Butler became the temporary face of the brand, as a whole, but Rose’s presence as the world’s second-ranked golfer is likely to give the golf collection, designed to be sold online, a heightened level of importance. One only has to look to Tiger Woods and his presence with Nike to see the power of a golf endorsement deal.
Bonobos says fans can expect the collection to make its debut at the Desert Classic in Palm Springs, California on Jan. 15. The collection is already for sale on the brand’s website.