Cottrill joined the brand as it began to grow following its 2021 merger with traditional golf brand Callaway, in a deal that valued Topgolf at $2 billion. Topgolf now says it attracts around 20 million players a year. According to Cottrill, a large portion of these players are beginner golfers, although the venues also attract avid golfers, he adds. The brand’s “north star”, he said, revolves around the idea of ”playing”.
“I wake up every day thinking the world needs more play,” he said. “The older you get, the more serious the world becomes.”
Under Cottrill’s leadership, Topgolf hired Mediahub as their media agency and Day One as their social agency.
The marketing strategy is to portray this frivolous mentality on social media, where Cottrill says Topgolf benefits from players sharing their experiences on Twitter, TikTok and other platforms. “We see a lot of user-generated content,” he said. “We try to participate on some level in the conversion where it makes sense – without dominating it, without sending too many messages to it.”
A successful social game involved Topgolf responding to a TikTok user who made a video not about hitting golf balls, but about the site’s donut holes, which can be injected with chocolate and other indulgent toppings . It drew around 1 million views, while Togolf’s response the next day drew some 10 million views, according to Cottrill. “In the month since our decision, our donut sales have doubled,” he said.
Topgolf also had fun with it on Instagram on National Donut Day.