The Person Behind #NothingFeelsLikeAMizuno

Mizuno Golf North America has been on quite a wild ride the last couple of years. With growth in market share in just about every measurable aspect of equipment, the company has been seen as more visible, more inviting, and to be frank, more fun. One of the reasons for that is their social media outlets and the content that comes out of them. Everything from quick hitting images to fun chats and even a THP Golf appearance or two.

Peeking behind the curtain you will find someone passionate about the game and the brand he is representing. Reaching tens of thousands of people daily with something fresh and new is not always an easy task, but Mizuno seems to have found their voice on a stage that is filled with great content. We are speaking of Jeff Crawford, the Associate Marketing Manager of Golf for Mizuno North America.

Pulling back the curtain even farther, we asked him to answer some questions for our readers.

THP: How did you get into golf?

Jeff Crawford: My Grandfather introduced me to golf when I was probably around 8 or so.  He would take me to his club in Naples, FL to practice when we’d come down and visit.  I didn’t get to play too much at home due to baseball occupying the majority of my free time.  When I was a senior in high school, my first job ever was at Cherokee Towne & Country Club as a bag/range attendant.  This gave me a little taste of what it could be like having a future in the industry.  Many of the pros there have gone on to some very high end positions, so it was a great learning experience there.  After my 2nd year of playing baseball in college, I had realized that the dream of playing at the next level wasn’t going to happen. From there, I began working at another local club close to my house.  This was basically the real start to my career in the golf industry.  Since then, I’ve cleaned clubs, picked ranges, worked retail, run tournaments, given lessons, folded hundreds of shirts and answered countless phone calls.  I am definitely what you would call an industry veteran, or as the great Johnny Drama said, “I am the f*#king game pal”. 

Image Courtesy of HBO

THP: How did it become that you were the “voice” of the Mizuno North America social media channels?

Jeff Crawford: I’ve been at Mizuno for 11.5 years.  The first 9.5 of those were spent in a variety of roles in Customer Support.  I handled our golf consumer line for almost 3 years, managed the Golf CS team for 3 years, and even handled our Baseball/Softball consumer line for nearly 2 years early on.  With all of that phone time, there’s a good chance that I have already spoken to some of the THP Forum members.  Nearly 2 years ago, a new position was created for an Associate Marketing Manager.  Handling social media was one of the main items in the job description.  I don’t necessarily have a marketing background, but this was for a golf specific position, which I had plenty of experience in.  My deep knowledge of the brand and passion for golf were large factors in getting the position.   

THP: With everything going on right now, what is your day to day like managing channels while not in the office or around athletes?

Jeff Crawford: The first week was a little different than a typical week.  A normal week this time of year would have easily had triple the amount of content that we did last week.  It’s definitely an odd time as the majority of our posts are product related.  It certainly would feel strange trying to “show and tell” all of our new products during this time when many of our followers are now juggling work and home more than ever, not to mention many courses have temporarily closed.  We’re definitely working on a few things that will still keep our followers entertained, but not necessarily push product. 

Jeff Crawford on the left, Chris Kirk on the right

THP: What is the most important thing you want people to understand about Mizuno Golf North America that you try to portray through your messaging?

Jeff Crawford: No one is ever going to say “I see way too many ads for Mizuno”.  That’s just not us.  People recognize Mizuno for being very understated and classy.  I try to emphasize that with a lot of our posts.  Our clubs are always very elegant in appearance…almost to the point where you feel guilty using them.  The typical Mizuno follower/supporter is a true golfer.  They’re into all the “techy” stuff that is related to Mizuno, whether it be our forging process, manufacturing pics or tour van footage.  I try to get those messages out by letting the beauty of our products tell the story rather than making all kinds of crazy distance claims. 

THP: Do you have a favorite social media outlet and why?

Jeff Crawford: For me, it’s by far Instagram.  This was always my “go-to” even prior to being in this role.  It’s the perfect blend of visual with just enough information.  As a brand, this seems to be our best fit as well.  Since Instagram is mostly visual, our products are well suited for this platform.  Our Instagram followers have doubled over the last 2 years, whereas our Twitter and Facebook followers have seen just small increases.  The insights on Instagram are very easy to decipher. They allow you to really see how each post is performing, and how you can target future paid posts.  Instagram also seems to be the preferred outlet for most of the industry these days.  The amount of golf content out there right now is unreal.  It will either get you through these tough times, or make you incredibly sad that you’re not out playing.

If you are not a social media user, you will be able to catch up with the Mizuno team on the THP Forum. If you are, hop on over and follow a few of their outlets and now you know who is behind the computer or phone making that content possible.

Instagram is @mizunogolfnorthamerica

Twitter is @MizunoGolfNA

Facebook is @MizunoGolfNorthAmerica

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31 Comments

  • Good article. It interesting to see what the Social teams are doing to keep consumers engaged while people can’t really go play, or go put their hands on shiny new toys.
  • Great read @JB It’s nice to learn about the people behind the names of the manufacturers and, learn that they are as passionate about golf as we are.
    I can assume he’s not a vegetarian and is a omnivore like us normal people? :cool:

    Haha. Unlike @Vosh68 yes Jeff is a meat eater.
    And you are right, he is very passionate about the game.

    Our goal with these is definitely light reading and entertainment, but also to help humanize these outlets a bit.

  • Nice read. Thanks for posting it. It’s nice to know who’s behind some of the movings ang goings.
  • Great article & enjoyed learning more about the man behind the mirror! Keep doing what Mizuno is doing!
  • Good article.
  • Thanks for that JB. I love seeing the curtain pulled open to learn more about Marketing at these brands. It sounds like Jeff’s ideas line up really well with how I personally view Mizuno, which is great. It has to be a tough time to be a Marketing person at this time with everything going on.
  • Thanks for that JB. I love seeing the curtain pulled open to learn more about Marketing at these brands. It sounds like Jeff’s ideas line up really well with how I personally view Mizuno, which is great. It has to be a tough time to be a Marketing person at this time with everything going on.

    I think it is definitely more challenging. I would argue that there is also a bit of a captive audience and what I mean by that is that people need an escape and if they are passionate about the game, they will find it.

  • Great read! Love reading about the passion of the guys behind the brands in these Q&As.
  • Good read. The thing about Mizuno that impresses me the most is how they go a out their business. They dont shout MIZUNO, but let the product speak for itself.
  • Great Interview! I love following Mizuno on Social Media and I agree they do really well on Instagram. Their clubs definitely photograph well.
  • Good article @JB. Mizuno is definitely on my short list when it comes to new clubs.
  • Need to get a picture of Jeff eating his meat pizza on the forum.
  • Need to get a picture of Jeff eating his meat pizza on the forum.

    Meat pizza sounds both disgusting and delicious at the same time.
    And please, post that.

  • Ask and you shall receive…View attachment 8933612
  • That looks rather tasty.
  • Loved this!! If you have other interviews that you did in the past or can get folks to do them from other brands I am all in. Any BEST OF for THP would probably be intersting to all of us as the days seem to get longer due to the virus.
  • Thanks @JB it’s nice to be able to hear from the ones behind the scenes.
  • LOVE the Drama reference!

    Johnny Drama

  • That looks rather tasty.

    It definitely was! ;)

  • It definitely was! ;)

    Makes a good avatar for you too.
    Face shielded to block off the rope hat. Nobody needs to see those :ROFLMAO:

  • Well written, fun read.
  • Great article. I find it really interesting to see how he has worked his way up in the golf business from shagging range balls to Associate Marketing Manager of Mizuno.
  • Great article. I find it really interesting to see how he has worked his way up in the golf business from shagging range balls to Associate Marketing Manager of Mizuno.

    Jeff has done a lot of things evidently and seems to excel in this role.
    One of the best parts of these is now THPers will know who they are speaking with when they engage on social.

  • Mizuno continues to impress me as a brand. I love their approach to just about everything.
  • I always love learning the people behind the brand, especially when it’s their social media accounts.
  • I always love learning the people behind the brand, especially when it’s their social media accounts.

    It does make it nice to correspond on social media when you know who you are speaking with.

  • Loved reading this interview. Nice to learn about the people behind the scenes. Jeff sounds like a great guy.
  • Cool to hear how a passion for the sport and lots of experience can lead to a spot that wasn’t necessarily a target or specialty. I like the way Mizuno handles their marketing and social media stiff too
  • Really appreciate all the great comments. Thank you to Josh and the THP crew for always being great supporters for Mizuno. #nothingfeelslikeamizuno
  • Great article.

    Very interesting background,
    Cool to see how he started in CS and now runs the Social media. Great reading about people in the golf industries background.

  • Great interview….nice to know a little bit behind the scenes & history behind the social media folks. Tough time right now with no professionals playing and generating equipment content plus like many places (golf stores & courses), completely closed.

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