Turfer Sportswear Goes to Trion

Turfer Sportswear has tapped Trion Communications to help position the client in the national marketplace.

Turfer, based in Woonsocket, R.I., designs and manufactures golf apparel sold in specialty stores and pro shops. The company has recently done local, mainly trade-based advertising through Acadia, a boutique agency in Providence, R.I.

Turfer’s hiring of Trion, also in Providence, signals its desire for a bigger impact through a national campaign, said Jerry Goldberg, Turfer’s marketing director. Trion was awarded the business without a full-blown review, he said.

Initial spending will likely be about $1 million, Goldberg added, with Trion producing print and online ads, catalogs and direct-marketing materials.

Advertising will appear in golf publications and men’s fashion and lifestyle magazines, said Trion partner Josh Fenton.

Trion has begun researching creative approaches, and ads are scheduled to break in the fall. Trion will also be handling media chores, said Fenton, who is overseeing Turfer along with Trion account executive Rhoades Alderson.

Both client and agency are hoping the partnership can help take them to the next level, executives said.

“[Turfer] is both a golf and a fashion account, which creates a lot of opportunities,” Fenton said, noting that the Turfer affiliation potentially provides the shop with a national creative showcase.

“Turfer, along with Annie’s and W.L. Gore, gives us a range of national advertising,” Fenton said.

Trion has been one of the region’s better-performing small agencies, posting an estimated 44 percent billings gain in 2001 to $22 million. The 25-person outfit has in the past year added several consumer-focused accounts, including Annie’s Homegrown, a marketer of macaroni-and-cheese products; Gore, a fabrics and apparel concern and the parent to the Gore-Tex brand; and eGo Vehicles, a maker of electric scooters.

Trion’s growth spurt coincides with Fenton’s mid-2001 arrival from RDW Group, which he helped build into Rhode Island’s largest agency during his tenure as new-business specialist.