Can a lifestyle brand grow the game of golf?

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Rob Litterst
Rob Litterst

Published:

Golfers have defaulted to polos and slacks for decades.

golfers

But a new lifestyle brand is evolving what golf apparel can look like and, in the process, bringing new players to the sport, per Bloomberg.

Eastside Golf…

… was founded by Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper, former teammates at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta.

When Ajanaku attempted to go pro after graduation, Cooper introduced him to an artist to make a logo he could wear on his gear. The logo: 

  • Featured a cartoon depiction of Ajanaku in jeans, a sweatshirt, and a gold chain
  • Received praise from onlookers off the course, which led Ajanaku to start the business

In 2020, the logo generated buzz at a PGA trade show, giving the duo confidence Eastside Golf could be successful.

Since then…

… the pair has notched a series of partnerships, including:

  • CAA, which has helped the brand land several collabs, including with Jordan Brand.
  • The NBA. A recent collection, “Playing Golf After This,” calls out the end of the NBA season.

What’s next?

Despite partnerships with the NBA and MLB, the brand hasn’t reached an agreement with the PGA Tour, which, perhaps ironically, claims one of its primary purposes is to “grow the game.” 

Golf has a long history of diversity problems, but Ajanaku and Cooper believe Eastside can help start conversations that bring more diversity to the sport.

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