It was always with a big grin and a frequent laugh that the effervescent Nancy Haley took part in the golf industry, whether it was at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando or on the occasional visit to Canada.
One of those trips saw her smacking drives out on to the frozen tundra from the heated hitting bays at Launch in northwest Toronto. On another trip up north, she welcomed customers and media to a special screening of Space Cowboys, starring her business partner Clint Eastwood, not too far from Launch.
Also not too far from Launch are the offices of Gord Peters, who is now president of Tehama after it was announced yesterday that Nacabi Trading Inc., had acquired the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
If you’re not familiar with Nacabi Trading, it is a new company put together by its Canadian principals before entering into negotiations for Tehama, which had been rumoured for months to be up for grabs.
Peters, who runs Gordon Mitchell Inc. in Concord, Ont., is originally from Montreal, but has lived in Toronto since 1979, while Steven Banks, now Tehama’s chief executive officer, grew up in Hamilton, but now lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., as a Canadian citizen running Jensan Apparel Inc.
“I think it’s a nice spin on the story that a couple of Canadian boys were able to manage to come in and do this,” said Peters on Monday evening.
“We’re pretty excited about it. It’s a great opportunity and it’s a great opportunity to bring the product to Canada in a more meaningful way and that is our plan,” said Peters, who will oversee Canadian distribution.
Peters says he is a neophyte to the golf industry, but he was familiar with the Tehama brand. “Steven actually has had some experience in men’s golf apparel. He did the Nick Price golf line for Canada and he was investigating what licences might be available,” he said.
“I’m a golfer and actually purchased some Tehama product over the years just because I liked it, so I was familiar with the brand from that perspective. It was one of the Hang ‘Em Dry mock turtles, the short-sleeved mock Tiger was wearing,” he added.
“It was a great piece and I bought it in three colours, just because I wanted too,” said Peters.
Since Haley first launched the Tehama line along with Eastwood in 1997, there was no end to the showmanship surrounding the brand. One of the main stories during Tehama’s 13-year existence was that it was also a lifestyle brand with golf as a foundation.
“One of the things that really drew Steven and me to the collection was the fashion aspect,” said Peters.
“My background is in higher end men’s wear, especially retail. The company that I own here in Canada sells better independent retail stores woven dress and sports shirts that retail from $125 to $225, so I like nice things and the Tehama line definitely falls into that category,” he said.
That sums up where Tehama is headed as a brand, although there is still some evaluation yet to be done. According to Peters, Tehama has built a strong presence in green grass and off-course shops in Canada and the U.S., where it also has a strong presence in retail stores which will be a focus going forward.
So, as Tehama built a lifestyle brand for all occasions using golf as a foundation, the new proprietors of the brand plan to use the people and direction of the company as a foundation for what they see ahead.
“We’re planning on building on the successes that they have to the extent that we have a collection that has merit for the specialty retail market,” said Peters.