If you thought that Paul McBeth jumping ship from Innova was the wildest thing that would happen before the 2019 season began in earnest, you would have been wrong.
Don’t get it twisted, Paul has already sold an exorbitant amount of discs that happen to look like they were designed by Trapper Keeper and Lisa Frank in the 1990’s, and we’re going to talk about him breaking the $1 million mark for months to come, but the dudes over at Discmania pulled some wild shenanigans of their own this week.
Now, if you were fond of Discmania, but also happened to like Yikun, Innova, or Lattitude64, don’t fret; you can now buy some Island of Dr. Moreau-style experiments from all four brands.
“I’m thrilled to announce that beginning today, we are starting a cooperation with Latitude 64 and Yikun. With these new partners, along with Innova Champion Discs, we are able to serve our customers better.” says Discmania’s CEO Jussi Meresmaa.
With manufacturing cooperation with Innova Champion Discs, Latitude 64 and Yikun, Discmania will launch three different product lines for 2019: Discmania Originals (by Innova), Discmania Evolution (by Latitude 64) and Discmania Active (by Yikun). New products are will begin to roll out during this spring from all three lines.
Collectors are already salivating at the chance to add new, limited runs in every plastic to their already overpriced Ebay listings.
This comes at a time when many consumers were already a little puzzled by the Discmania line’s prevalence in the bags of Innova’s professional team.
Even the most elementary of marketing interns can decipher this piece of evidence from the Discmania mucky-mucks:
“Our main partner, Innova, has a factory in our main market area, the United States. That keeps the supply close to the demand. Our new manufacturing partners will help us to grow vertically in the disc golf industry,” Meresmaa says. “We are adding high-end products to our line-up to cater to the ever-growing ‘discmaniacs’. We are also adding a whole line of affordable, branded products that will help us grow in new market areas around the world.”
Let’s put this into grocery store terms:
Discmania is going to have a “not exactly generic, but still cheap” offering, a la the “store brand”, while also working to create something more artisanal and high-end as well. The stuff in the middle will stay, well, in the middle.
Does this mean that Discmania always felt that their main offerings were just average?
The best part of the press release came from the blurb about their partnership with China’s Yikun Discs, in which Discmania practically dared the rest of the industry to move to the far east.
This new strategy will shake up the traditional disc golf industry and time will tell if other brands will follow. At this point, the stage is set for us at Discmania. This strategy was inspired by the global sporting goods giant Nike. Their manufacturing partners around the world are strategically selected and their quality meets the demand of the industry leading company. Nike started small, selling running shoes locally in Oregon. It was Phil Knight’s passion to change the running shoe market that lead Nike to challenge industry standards. And the rest is history.
Yeah, but Nike also perfected the sweat shop, so….
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Discmania is undoubtedly gambling here, attempting to stake a claim in the increasingly profitable world of disc golf before it skyrockets. (Hey, can’t blame ’em…we’re doing the same here). The issue is, at least for Discmania, that they were always a bit of a stepchild company. By further diluting their core identity, for the sake of saturating the market with their name, they are assuming a fairly valid risk among an ever-more-educated market.
As disc golf grows, and the diversity of thought within the sport expands, will consumers buy into the widespread approach of Discmania, or will core golfers find themselves looking to buy from someone without the stigma of corporate structuring and stock market attitude?
The “stage is set” to find out.