NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Steen Borgholm – CEO
Panos Mytaros – EVP, Global Shoe Production
Michel Krol – EVP, Global Sales
Dave Quel – President
Gregory W Marchini – Vice President Sales
Jesper Thuen – General Manager Golf
Jackie Kirkwood – Channel Manager Golf
ECCO has grown into one of the world’s foremost premium golf shoe brands, handcrafting each shoe at company-owned factories using premium leathers produced at its own tanneries.
With a combination of style and comfort, the Danish company has built its success on great design and leather quality, and innovative technology.
Founded in Denmark in 1963, ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world which owns and manages every aspect of its leather and shoe productions, as well as its retail sales.
ECCO is among the largest producers in the world of high-quality leather, which is used in ECCO’s shoes, and own production of leather goods and is also sold to several leading luxury brands. Today, ECCO products are sold in 87 countries in more than 3,300 ECCO shops and shop-in-shops, and at more than 14,000 sales points around the world. The company is family-owned and employs more than 19,000 people worldwide.
The company says it ranks fourth in sales (both globally and in the U.S.) behind big brands FootJoy, Nike and adidas.
ECCO has been a footwear staple in the golf industry for nearly 30 years. Known for some of the most comfortable, durable and stylish shoes on the course, the company has assembled a portfolio of tour sponsorships that includes golf legends Fred Couples, Ernie Els and, most recently, Henrik Stenson.
With significant visibility on a global scale, the brand has a wide variety of styles available, from fashion forward bold looks, to traditional premium golf shoes. ECCO produced its first pair of golf shoes in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2002 that it founded a dedicated golf division focused on product development and distribution.
In 2006, the company signed Fred Couples, who four years later truly put ECCO on the map in the U.S.
The coolness of Freddie Couples not only helped ECCO burst onto the scene in the golf world, but ignited the sport’s hybrid footwear revolution.
Couples, who used to play in the era of stiff golf shoes and metal spikes, garnered attention throughout the game when he first strolled down the fairways at Augusta National in 2010 wearing ECCO’s spike-less hybrid shoes – sans socks no less. The company’s sales projection for the shoe line that year had been about 2,000; after Couples’ appearance at The Masters it surged to more than 80,000 and equaled that in the first quarter of the following year alone.
ECCO has continued to ride that splash to success in the U.S. golf market and remains one of the most highly-regarded brands in the game.