A Tale of Golf Ball Marketing

golf ball with the Janitronics logo about to fall into the the golf cup

With fifty years in the business, we have our fair share of stories to tell. One of our favorites involves our founder, Jim Harris, Sr., and marketing with golf balls. (You read that correctly.)

Jim Harris, Sr. had just started his cleaning company, Janitronics Facility Services. He already had a few clients and was showing them the benefits of cleaning for health. But he wasn’t going to stop there. He was going to make Janitronics big. That started with meeting people.

Harris, Sr. knew quite a bit about meeting people; business classes and books all espouse the many ways one can meet others and turn those into business connections. But Harris, Sr. did his research. For every method that was listed, there was a counter strategy that could be used. Harris, Sr. knew he could do better than that.

So he came up with a plan.

Harris, Sr. started with nearly a hundred blank golf balls. He then had the Janitronics logo printed on them.

There are a few things you need to know about golf before we continue the tale.

  • Golf courses are made up of multiple terrains. Most of the playable area is made up of grass cut at different heights. The “rough” has some of the longest grass of the course. It’s so tall that golf balls often get lost in it.
  • Most players are expected to lose some golf balls over a round.
  • It’s not unusual to find stray golf balls from past games while searching for your own.

Jim Harris, Sr. knew all about golf, and he used this knowledge to his advantage.

On Friday nights, when the sun had set and players had gone home, he got to work. Harris, Sr. would go to the local country clubs and throw a few balls into the rough.

Come Saturday and Sunday, people came to play a few rounds of golf. Inevitably, people were searching the rough for their lost golf balls. And just as inevitably, people picked up a golf ball with the Janitronics logo on it.

Later on, Harris, Sr. would go to cocktail parties and mention Janitronics. Golfers would recognize the name from the golf balls, and conversations would naturally start from there. And, as the saying goes, the starts of beautiful friendships began.

It was deceptively simple yet worked so well. It is also one of Jim Harris, Sr.’s favorite stories to tell.

Decades later, Jim Harris, Jr. is an avid golf player in his spare time. And if you happen to find a Janitronics golf ball in the rough, there may be a tale behind it.