With Nike in Scotland
US sportswear manufacturer Nike brought two partners on board for its new Performance Fitting Center, Scotland’s prestigious golf club Archerfield Links and the multinational production company satis&fy.
Cooperation with Nike is nothing new for satis&fy. The events service provider has supported the leading maker of sports gear for years, providing equipment and expertise to stage all manner of events around the world. However, this project was a departure from the norm in that the Performance Fitting Center was not to be temporary; it is a more permanent installation that will serve ambitious golfers for at least eight years.
Archerfield Links, a club with a rich heritage and a course stretching along the scenic coast of northern Scotland, erected the shell of an addition to the facility at its driving range to house the center. The Nike Global Design Team at Portland, USA, designed the professional fittings and premium-quality furnishings while the satis&fy headquarters at Karben near Frankfurt handled the preproduction and installation.
Nike Europe Golf at Hilversum, Netherlands, tasked satis&fy with this job. The project had two objectives: One was to set up a facility for assessing golfers’ drive, putt and chip performance and adjusting equipment to the given individual’s swing. The other was to pick up on the clubhouse’s sumptuous, country-manor ambience and carry its period style over to the facility. The purpose of the center is to cater to the athlete in the golfer, treat players to the world’s best golf fitting experience, and provide coaching by renowned Nike golf instructors.
Project manager John van Gaal from satis&fy Hilversum had worked with Nike Golf Product Management Europe on other projects. When he inspected the site in May 2014, he soon realized the set could not be built on location: “Too many uncertainties. For example, even if you have a precise RAL specification that doesn’t mean you can actually get exactly that color on site.” So the decision was made for satis&fy Karben to build the set pieces in Germany.
This project called for collaboration across half the world and Nike operates on the global market, so satis&fy opted for a strategic approach to provide even better, more targeted and more efficient support. Commenting on this strategy, satis&fy CEO Dirk Vennemann says, “satis&fy’s remote locations across the globe join forces, pooling their special skills and taking advantage of different time zones to accelerate workflows and serve customers everywhere with staffers on site.”
satis&fy Portland’s Maika Janat keeps the communication lines open for Nike projects in the Americas and in touch with the Nike Global Design Team. She coordinated the design and planning efforts. This took a bit of juggling as there were the different views of Nike Global and Nike Europe, material-related aspects, budgetary concerns and the club management’s ideas about furniture and fittings to consider and reconcile
Collaborating directly with the Nike Global Design Team, Marc Patrick Alley headed up the effort at Karben to make the set pieces: “It was not just a matter of meticulously putting the plans into practice to ensure everything would perfectly match Nike’s corporate design. Our custom builds will be there for the next eight years, used every day and seen from up close. That was another reason to proceed with utmost precision. What’s more, they would have to stand up to Scotland’s harsh coastal climate for a long time, so the only option was to use high-quality materials such as seasoned solid wood, glass and stainless steel. This applies to the tee booths on the driving range especially because they are outdoors, but also to the facility’s interior because its doors are likely to be open a lot because of the purpose it serves.”
Various solid-wood cabinets were built to precise specifications for use indoors as club racks and displays. They had to be warp-proof, rugged enough to withstand the daily rigors of hard use under conditions much like those outdoors, and resilient enough to exhibit no signs of wear. The display showcases also presented a challenge with their integrated artworks and inserts. The design brief called for the latter to be interchangeable so the cases can easily adapted to seasonal themes. “We had to get inventive to achieve the requisite modularity. For instance, we used Velcro to attach the graphical backdrops we had made to the display cases so they can be changed quickly without a lot of remodeling,” says Franziska Braunbeck, who is responsible for creating the artworks, by way of explanation. The Graphics & Signage support unit at satis&fy Karben also furnished all the logos, lettering and images for walls.
The lighting conditions in the driver and putter try-out zones were another key consideration because multiple cameras capture all the action from different angles on video for experts, coaches and players to analyze using technologies such as Trackman and V One. The clubs are then custom-fitted in a separate room by a specialist who carefully and accurately bends the iron to match it to the player’s unique swing.
Taking just five days, the setup proper on location went very smoothly thanks to the company’s painstaking preparations before deploying. The trucks arrived with more than just the fittings and furnishings in their cargo holds. Back in Germany, they had also been loaded with scores of chipboard panels. Laid out over the manicured greens, they prevented the heavy equipment that hauled the materials to the Fitting Center from damaging the turf.
“The same satis&fy liaisons will continue to support the Nike Performance Fitting Center – that is, maintain the facility and install the varying decorative materials,” adds CEO Dirk Vennemann. “This concept, a one-stop solution, is a perfect match for us and our customer Nike. It enables optimum, efficient coordination across borders and time zones, and incorporates quality assurance on several levels.”