GOLF ISN’T JUST A SPORT. IT’S A LIFESTYLE. You can’t step on a golf course wearing just anything. You need to look hip and trendy when golfing in the Philippines. And that’s where Loro Golf Apparel comes in. Loro is the newest and most famous golf clothing brand in the country today.
And now, I have the pleasure of interviewing Bon Roberto – marketing director of Loro. Read on to learn more about the successful clothing line as well as his insights on Philippine golf.
Verne Ahyong: Good afternoon, Bon. Could you share with us a bit of information on Loro?
Bon Roberto: Of course! Loro Golf Apparel began three years ago when Jennifer Rosales first approached my sister. Jennifer asked her to design a few sets of clothing which she could wear during golf tournaments here and abroad. My sister agreed, and Jennifer loved the clothes that were designed for her.
VA: Is this what made you two decide to start a clothing line for golfers?
BR: That’s right. A lot of people found out about the clothes my sister designed. They liked the striking colors and modern prints and began placing special orders for these. Fortunately, the orders kept on increasing, so we decided to turn it into a business.
VA: Loro is an interesting name. I was wondering how you guys came up with it?
BR: Actually, our company is named after my sister. You see, her name first name is Lora. So if you get the first two letters of Lora and Roberto, you get our company name – Loro.
VA: That’s cool. So, I see that you are now participating in Philippine golf expos. Does this mean your business is doing very well?
BR: It was our first time last year to get exposure by joining one of these shows. There was a very positive response, so we decided to come back. I believe that joining these expos is a better way of advertising the clothing brand because of the captured market [of golfers] here.
Loro Golf Apparel
(A photograph of me interviewing Bon Roberto. You can see the Loro booth in the background.)
VA: But have you ever thought about advertising in newspapers or magazines?
BR: In addition to what I said, I believe joining expos is more cost effective. This is because when you advertise through print ads, you aren’t sure people will actually read it.
VA: Interesting. And aside from during golf expos and by special request, are there other places where you sell your golf apparel?
BR: We don’t have our own outlets, but Loro apparel is being sold in Golf Department, Golf Clinic in Shang [Shangri-la Plaza Mall], and Riviera in Orchard.
VA: Wow, your clothing line must really be selling well. As of now, what do you think is the biggest thing you and Lora have achieved with Loro?
BR: It is definitely the recognition we were able to gain in such a short amount of time. You see, my sister used to be part of the Philippine National Golf Team. But she had to cut down on her tournaments, to concentrate on running the clothes shop. The business wouldn’t have done nearly as well without her.
VA: That’s a touching story. Now if you don’t mind my asking, how do you see state of golf tourism in the country right now?
BR: Good question. I think that more and more people are golfing in the Philippines. Not just in Manila, but all over the country. Hotel and transportation rates are very cheap. Take Cebu Pacific [airfare] rates, for example.
VA: And what do you think can be improved on?
BR: Well, more public courses would make the sport more accessible to golfers that aren’t very rich. Even playing golf in public courses isn’t that cheap. You will easily spend 1,000 pesos, plus the caddie fee.
VA: I see. So finally, why do you think that golfers love wearing clothes from Loro?
BR: Golf doesn’t have to be that expensive. If you want to look cool while playing golf, then you should wear Loro Golf Apparel. Our clothes are affordable, hip and trendy at the same time.