How five companies are making their mark.
By Jake Widman
At about the same time, the Acushnet golf company (makers of the Titleist and FootJoy brands, among others) was looking to expand its custom packaging choices. Acushnet then accounted for about 75% of the promotional golf balls in the US market. It offered custom packaging as well, but a customer needed to order 2000 dozen balls to get a custom package; as you might guess, Acushnet wanted to be able to offer custom packaging for smaller amounts, and the Xeikon enabled Odyssey to meet that request.
Using its Xeikon SP, Odyssey now sometimes does just 48 or 96 dozen balls for a company golf outing. "We’ve done as small a run as a single ball sleeve," says Roberds. "We run 70 to 100 orders a week, just for golf balls. The SP is engineered to print on heavier stock than are the regular printers-up to 18 pt. We print on 16 pt. C1S folding carton board for the golf boxes."
Besides the regular golf packaging business, "We do a little comp work and some software boxes," Roberds recounts. "But that’s spotty, it’s not real steady. We’re also talking to a company about doing custom coffee cup sleeves."
At this point, Odyssey is not using its wide-format printers for its packaging work, but that may soon change. "We plan to pursue packaging prototypes with the Gandi printer," says Roberds. "We just installed it last month, so we aren’t ready yet to go after the business," but he certainly sees integrating that machine into the packaging workflow in the future.
To anyone thinking of entering the packaging market, Roberds has a cautionary tale: "Our salesperson called on all the big names in the packaging business, and we were surprised at how little interest there was in digital printing. I can’t tell you why, they just wouldn’t talk to us." To get a company to agree to do business with you, Roberds says, you need to get a champion inside the company to push the idea.