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Urban Golf Gear: A New Appearance of Apparel

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2002

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08

Imagine going to play golf early in the morning, meeting with friends for lunch, and heading to the park afterwards. In between each of these engagements, a change of clothes would seem ideal, unless Urban Golf Gear manufactures the clothes being worn.

Urban Golf Gear, founded by Craig Tanner in 1997, is "a golf-inspired lifestyle apparel line," according to Tanner. The 39-year-old African-American entrepreneur has attempted to combine two contrasting worlds: the hip-hop world and the golf world.

Inspired by Tiger Woods in 1996, Urban Golf Gear consists of three lines: the Traditional Golf Collection, the Urban Lifestyle Collection, and the new UGG Kidz.

The Tradition Golf Collection has an array of golf shirts, windshirts, jackets, vests, and caps that aren't the typical golf attire. The line appeals more to the stylish golfer. The Lifestyle Collection has a variety of T-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, baby tees, tank tops, halter-tops, and hats. And the recently launched kids line consists of similar items of the two aforementioned in youth sizes.

The most unique and appealing part of Urban Golf Gear clothing is the logo. The logo is a man with soaring dreads and a swinging golf club. The face was created by combining approximately 50 faces of different nationalities into one named UGGMAN. The logo is undeniably powerful.

"A black person says he's black. An Asian kid thinks he looks Asian. He represents everyone. He symbolizes the freedom to do what you want to do," Tanner said.

With consumers ranging in age from eight to 80, and consisting of different races and ethnic groups, people appear to be hearing Tanner's message. Celebrities like Denzel Washington, and Carmen Elektra have caught on as well.

The casts from shows like Soul Food and The Bernie Mac Show, as well as movies Two Can Play That Game and Barbershop, are also apart of Tanner's long list of clientele.

The tremendous response from celebrities has led to a huge increase in Urban Golf Gear's sales. "The celebrities endorsements have been awesome," Tanner said. "There's a direct correlation between celebrities and revenue. I call it the 'celebrity fashion formula.' People see celebrities in the clothing and they buy it." So far, the formula has worked for Tanner whose sales have increased 150 percent since 1997.

Plans for Urban Golf Gear include expanding the placement of their products in retail stores around the country, a collection of jeans and a line catering to the all-around sport fans.

Urban Golf Gear also allots a percentage of its profits to the UGG Youth Entrepreneurship Foundation, which was created to assist children in developing ideas and business plans.

Tanner's advice to young adults interested in establishing a business of their own is, "If you have an idea, go for it. If you think it, then you can have it."

Tanner also emphasized another fact. "Once in the business, you must wear many hats. If it means mopping floors one day, working in the office the next, and speaking with the press the third day, it is what must be done in order to succeed in the business. Take it or leave it."

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