Golf Network Preps Digital Out-of-Home Media Rollout

After three years of extensive planning, testing, and building industry relationships, The Sports Retail Networks has announced the closing of its Series A funding. "We are now positioned to roll out our premier digital signage brand, The Golf Network, to more than 100 retail locations in the next two months," announced Mark Biestman, co-founder and CEO/president.

"We have invested time to test, enhance and fine tune our business model significantly beyond what we launched at the PGA Merchandise Show three years ago," added Biestman.

"First, through significant on-site research, we realized that we had a winning concept for new wave, digital out-of-home media. Research with our digital platform and retail customers came back extremely strong. We gained tremendous knowledge about the mind-set of golf retailers and then, of course, a better understanding about consumer behavior and what triggers a purchase whether it is golf equipment, golf apparel or golf accessories.

"Second, we just closed on our Series A funding from a group of investors led by Red Eagle Ventures, a private equity management firm based in San Francisco. In closing this round of financing, we are also able to secure the business talents of David S. Pottruck, who joins the company as chairman of the board. Pottruck brings with him a successful business career that includes 20 years at The Charles Schwab Corporation, including serving as CEO; serving on the board of directors of Intel; as a senior advisor for Golden Gate Capital and as a senior fellow in the Wharton School Center Leadership and Management. His talents will be instrumental in moving us forward.

"Last, but not least is our production rollout of flagship brand, The Golf Network, to more than 100 retail locations within the next two months in partnership with a number of regional and national retailers. Our business model calls for The Golf Network to be in more than 400 locations in early 2009 and possibly 1000 by 2010," Biestman concluded.

"I've been involved with many different industries, worked on new brands and managed established companies throughout my career," said Pottruck. "I am delighted to be in on the ground floor with technology that is beginning to shape the way consumers shop. Digital signage as an advertising medium is here to stay and The Sports Retail Networks are on the cutting edge. I am delighted to add my management and technology background to this talented team as we all focus on growing the company."

Alan Donahue, co-Founder and executive vice president of SRN, has been hands on with The Golf Network from its incubation to its current roll out. "TGN is the first vertical implementation of the newly cast Sports Retail Networks solutions company and is designed to reach the most affluent and desirable demographic in the sporting goods industry, the golfer," he said.

"In extensive audited production tests, TGN increased retail revenues as high as 30 percent at sporting goods stores, golf specialty shops and green grass pro shops. The potential ROI for both the retailer and advertiser is thus very strong while the consumer benefits from an improved, educated shopping experience, making a more informed purchase," Donahue added.

"At the core of our solution is an addressable media server that enables TGN to delivery unique sports related content and advertising over the internet to large flat screen displays located in high traffic consumer area within retail stores.

"Another point of difference with TGN is that we offer use of Radio Frequency identification (RFID), mobile messaging and interactive displays with our digital out-of-home media. Our RFID technology delivers consumer triggered advertising and promotion at the point of purchase. In addition, we are providing extremely rich editorial content that will further enhance the buying experience. We are already working with a number of major retail partners such as Dunham's Sporting Goods, Golf Etc., Golf USA, Pro Golf, ParMasters and many others," Donahue concluded.

TGN will be further strengthening its management/marketing team with people experienced in advertising sales, working with the golf industry and the general advertising community. Already on the team is Mark McGourty, chief operating officer. He has more than 25 years of financial management as co-founder and managing director of BayHill Partners. Peter Marshall, General Counsel with 20 years in the technology industry with Wilson, Marshall and Taylor. Jeff Lester, an award-winning producer and director of Sundance Dailies. He also has videoed more than 100 hours of HD content for TGN. Jim Kelly, with 37 years in the broadcast industry and the voice of golf, anchoring coverage for the LPGA, PGA and PGA Championship tours, will serve as the host for TGN. Alan Taylor, with more than 25 years of sports marketing and public relations for his own agency, will work on communications strategies.

For more information on the Golf Network products/services, visit

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.