Annika Sorenstam's golf clothing line continues to work, as she did on the course • Swing Update

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Annika Sorenstam at this year's PGA Show.PGA Golf Exhibitions

Of the female athletes you can name right away, how many started a business outside of their sport?

That's the question Annika Sorenstam asked me at a recent meeting at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where the Hall of Fame golfer was discussing the latest items from her line of ANNIKA women's clothing for Cutter & Buck. Sisters Williams and Chris Evert at tennis came to mind, but I could not invent many more.

"Before I started, we conducted a random survey and it was interesting to hear – and I would say little has changed – that few people on the street could nominate five female athletes," Sorenstam said. , 48, who remains unquestionably the best female golfer in history with 90 wins in international tournaments under his belt.

"If you ask men the same question, people can give 10 to 20 names. At first, I was a bit surprised: "Why, what's the difference?" In golf only, you had (Greg) Norman, (Gary) Player, (Jack) Nicklaus, (Arnold) Palmer … ".

The ANNIKA line enters its 15th year and represents a total turnover of $ 50 million for Cutter & Buck, ranked one of the top 100 golf companies by the National Golf Foundation last year. "It's pretty unique for a women's clothing brand to be so long alive," said Sorenstam, who first discovered the company's clothing in 2000 while playing with her sister, Charlotta during a team competition at the World Championships.

At the time, Sorenstam's clothing contract was about to end and she eventually moved to Cutter & Buck for a few years. At the same time, Cutter & Buck was looking to expand its offering, going beyond the 35-55 age bracket for its regular women's range and bringing a European touch.

"I was younger and more European, so we created a slightly different collection," said the Swede at the age of 30.

Sorenstam clothing from the 2019 ANNIKA line from Cutter & Buck.Cutter & Buck

In 2004, Sorenstam's first products for Cutter & Buck came out, but it was only in 2008, when she considered moving away from the game, that she began to consult a brand strategist. During her playing career, Sorenstam had the idea of ​​creating her own clothing line, but she had recognized that she needed outside help.

"My performance was very high, but my staff was not, so I was trying to find that connection," she says. "The word" brand "is so used. You must have this emotional connection and it must be authentic. That's what we've been working hard on for the past 10 years. "

The dive into the business world was an awakening for Sorenstam, including 90 wins, including 72 on the LPGA tour, including 10 major titles.

"The hardest part was that I literally slid off the top," said Sorenstam. "You come with confidence and it's 2008 and the worst economic environment we've ever seen. I'm used to things going the way I want, to be successful and see results right away. It was an interesting moment. I was a handicap now. I was not a golfer of reference in the business world. "

The most important thing for Sorenstam was to be authentic. She was not a fashion expert who studied design but who knew a lot about performance clothes. Sorenstam tells a story of 2004, shortly after signing with Cutter & Buck, and they sent her four shorts – all black – for a tournament that she was competing in Hawaii. None had a back pocket.

"I told them," First of all, if I wear black every day, people will not think I change shorts. I need a little variety and we also need a back pocket. Where will I put my scorecard and pencil? Sorenstam recalls. "They were designers. They said that the back pocket was not as beautiful. We have joined forces and now they are designing functional and elegant pockets. "

Sorenstam said that she felt like a 36 year old disability when she first entered the world of golf.Cutter & Buck

Sorenstam is delighted with the position of the ANNIKA clothing line and, considering the demands of the family and other activities, she does not intend to expand.

This is the same approach she has adopted with the world tour of tournaments and events that bears her name. There are seven tournaments this year in China, Sweden, New Zealand, Uruguay, Florida and Minnesota. In 2018, its events involved more than 600 girls and young women from more than 60 countries.

"We just want to continue to deliver what we have with quality, consistency and excellence," said Sorenstam. "It's not something super revolutionary, but to maintain what we have because I think that's where you get results. It's a bit my golf game. Some people thought it was boring, but I loved hitting fairways and greens. You have results. "

Fifteen years later, the ANNIKA brand continues to perform, as does the woman who wears it.

It's a game of thumbs and dollars. Get the latest sports news and analysis of ratings, signatures and recruitments, once a week in your inbox, from the Forbes SportsMoney Playbook. Register here.

RELATED CONTENT:

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Annika Sorenstam at this year's PGA Show. PGA Golf Exhibitions

Of the female athletes you can name right away, how many started a business outside of their sport?

That's the question Annika Sorenstam asked me at a recent meeting at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where the Hall of Fame golfer was discussing the latest items from her line of ANNIKA women's clothing for Cutter & Buck. Sisters Williams and Chris Evert at tennis came to mind, but I could not invent many more.

"Before I started, we conducted a random survey and it was interesting to hear – and I would say little has changed – that few people on the street could nominate five female athletes," Sorenstam said. , 48, who remains unquestionably the best female golfer in history with 90 wins in international tournaments under his belt.

"If you ask men the same question, people can give 10 to 20 names. At first, I was a bit surprised: "Why, what's the difference?" In golf only, you had (Greg) Norman, (Gary) Player, (Jack) Nicklaus, (Arnold) Palmer … ".

The ANNIKA line enters its 15th year and represents a total turnover of $ 50 million for Cutter & Buck, ranked one of the top 100 golf companies by the National Golf Foundation last year. "It's pretty unique for a women's clothing brand to be so long alive," said Sorenstam, who first discovered the company's clothing in 2000 while playing with her sister, Charlotta during a team competition at the World Championships.

At the time, Sorenstam's clothing contract was about to end and she eventually moved to Cutter & Buck for a few years. At the same time, Cutter & Buck was looking to expand its offering, going beyond the 35-55 age bracket for its regular women's range and bringing a European touch.

"I was younger and more European, so we created a slightly different collection," said the Swede at the age of 30.

Sorenstam clothing from ANNIKA line 2019, from Cutter & Buck.Cutter & Buck

In 2004, Sorenstam's first products for Cutter & Buck came out, but it was only in 2008, when she considered moving away from the game, that she began to consult a brand strategist. During her playing career, Sorenstam had the idea of ​​creating her own clothing line, but she had recognized that she needed outside help.

"My performance was very high, but my staff was not, so I was trying to find that connection," she says. "The word" brand "is so used. You must have this emotional connection and it must be authentic. That's what we've been working hard on for the past 10 years. "

The dive into the business world was an awakening for Sorenstam, including 90 wins, including 72 on the LPGA tour, including 10 major titles.

"The hardest part was that I literally slid off the top," said Sorenstam. "You come with confidence and it's 2008 and the worst economic environment we've ever seen. I'm used to things going the way I want, to be successful and see results right away. It was an interesting moment. I was a handicap now. I was not a golfer of reference in the business world. "

The most important thing for Sorenstam was to be authentic. She was not a fashion expert who studied design but who knew a lot about performance clothes. Sorenstam tells a story of 2004, shortly after signing with Cutter & Buck, and they sent her four shorts – all black – for a tournament that she was competing in Hawaii. None had a back pocket.

"I told them," First of all, if I wear black every day, people will not think I change shorts. I need a little variety and we also need a back pocket. Where will I put my scorecard and pencil? Sorenstam recalls. "They were designers. They said that the back pocket was not as beautiful. We have joined forces and now they are designing functional and elegant pockets. "

Sorenstam stated that she felt like a 36 year old disability when she entered the golf business world.Cutter & Buck

Sorenstam is delighted with the position of the ANNIKA clothing line and, considering the demands of the family and other activities, she does not intend to expand.

This is the same approach she has adopted with the world tour of tournaments and events that bears her name. There are seven tournaments this year in China, Sweden, New Zealand, Uruguay, Florida and Minnesota. In 2018, its events involved more than 600 girls and young women from more than 60 countries.

"We just want to continue to deliver what we have with quality, consistency and excellence," said Sorenstam. "It's not something super revolutionary, but to maintain what we have because I think that's where you get results. It's a bit my golf game. Some people thought it was boring, but I loved hitting fairways and greens. You have results. "

Fifteen years later, the ANNIKA brand continues to perform, as does the woman who wears it.

It's a game of thumbs and dollars. Get the latest sports news and analysis of ratings, signatures and recruitments, once a week in your inbox, from the Forbes SportsMoney Playbook. Register here.

RELATED CONTENT:

Zero Friction Supertubes: How An Error Led To A Leading Golf Product

McIlroy Partners with Golf Channel to Create GolfPass, a Lifestyle Membership Program

ClubCorp Launches Golf Entertainment with BigShots Franchise Offers

10 Favorite Finds from the PGA Show