Last month Bridgestone Golf announced a return of Dan Murphy and hopefully the dominance the ball company once had regarding Golf Balls. Sites like Golf Digest to Forbes have reported on the new President and CEO, who replaces Angel Ilagan after the companies loss of dominance over the last two years in the ball niche of golf. Does Murphy have what it takes to bring back the golden era of Bridgestone Golf? We have our opinion, but we are more interested in the thoughts of the ones who will truly decide how the golf ball company succeeds… The Golfers!
Dan Murphy – The 411
Dan Murphy is viewed as a great talent not only by golfers, but also his boss. Chairman of Bridgestone Golf and senior officer for Bridgestone Sports, Shigeru Nakayama praised Murphy for his industry connections, product knowledge and leadership skills. He said that Murphy is never afraid to push the limits and find innovative ways to make better equipment for golfers.
Many golfers apart from Shigeru Nakayama are also happy that Murphy took over the office. Here are a few excerpts from what people had to say.
Positive Homecoming Sentiment
The Facebook page of the company is flooded with comments many of welcoming him back to his home turf.
Johnny Gamauf said that it is one of the best decisions that Bridgestone has taken in a long time and many feel the same. All players congratulated Murphy and hoped that he will be able to bring success to the company.
Murphy will have all eyes on him as he will once again have to take the responsibility on the sales. The market share for Bridgestone golf market had encountered a dip of 22% in 2017 so it is not one of the best times to join as a CEO. But many believe that he will be able to deliver the performance he meted out from 2004 to 2015- achieving a growth of US revenue by 250% and pushing up Bridgestone to rank 2 in the market.
Alex B, like many other people is confident about Murphy’s talent and capabilities. He feels great that Bridgestone has brought back Murphy and considers it a good move. He is feeling excited wondering about the things that Murphy will do to bring Bridgestone back to its former glory. Alex also wants to find out how Murphy is going to leverage the pro players on the list like Tiger Woods. Whatever may happen, he is ready to put his trust on Murphy and waiting to see how things turn out.
Valuable Suggestions for Murphy?
Golfers seemed to be happy to have Dan back and some of them wanted to give him their suggestions. A golfer on one public forum advised Murphy to become more customer focused. He believes that golfers today, are not convinced by speeches and messages of doing good.
Murphy should develop two-way communication with the customers and find out what they really want and come up with a unique selling proposition. Only then the golfers will be ready to switch to Bridgestone products or at least will want to try them out.
Another advises Murphy to reduce some of the tour sponsorships and use the money to develop better products and improve their market share. He also thinks that Bridgestone has made a good decision by hiring Murphy because they will be able to use his expert vision and leadership to improve their current position. He also hopes that Murphy will be able to guide them towards a definite goal and stop going around in circles.
A golfer with nickname Mike Dean feels that Murphy will be able to use the fame of Tiger Woods and other personalities like Kuch and Bryson to get the market share back in golf balls. He hopes that Murphy will be able to bring back Bridgestone on track and bring fruit to all expectations.
MWard, on the other hand, has some unique proposal for Murphy. He feels that Murphy should start with something simple which has worked before and not concentrate on long-term plans. Instead, he should use something short-term to convince people that Bridgestone still is the leader of golf balls.
Buckeye, another player on a forum, agrees with MWard. He also feels that Murphy should move away from the current strategy which is not working. Bridgestone needs to rediscover their roots, according to Buckeye and establish what makes them unique in the market.
He also feels that Bridgestone under Murphy can come out with new products like a new ball equipped with urethane or hyb-urethane cover. Only then the company will be able to stay in the competition.
Another player, called Vortex had the best advice- Murphy should come up with a brand message which resonates with all of their consumers.
Where does Bridgestone Golf Go From Here?
It’s too soon to tell if Bridgestone Golf has made the right choice bringing Dan Murphy back and appointing him President and CEO, but it does seem the golf community welcomes this move. Dan was a pivotal part of Bridgestones success and his vision could be what’s needed to turn the company around. If you disagree, or have your own thoughts on this topic be sure to share them below. We’d love to hear what you have to say.