New Relationship Strengthens Ties Between SMU and One of the Golf Industry’s Fastest-Growing Businesses
(Dallas, Texas) — Arcis Golf is collaborating with The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at SMU Cox School of Business (SMU Cox) to conduct a customer engagement research project. The proprietary study will seek to optimize fee-based membership programs at Arcis Golf’s daily-fee facilities throughout the United States.
The Brierley Institute creates innovative learning opportunities for SMU Cox MBA students aspiring to careers in marketing, business analytics, and consulting. Selected MBA students have embarked on the project, studying Arcis Golf’s current membership programs and suggesting improvements and enhancements. Marci Armstrong, Harold M. Brierley Endowed Professor and Director of the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement, identified the participants from among current SMU Cox MBA candidates.
“These students learn to develop strategies that build customer relationships, leverage digital and traditional media, measure financial impact, and create customer experiences, which engage customers to create loyalty and build value,” said Armstrong, an experienced professor of marketing. “It is our honor to put the talents of the Brierley Institute’s best students to work on behalf of a company as innovative and forward-thinking as Arcis Golf.”
This is a natural alliance between the two entities. Arcis Golf was founded by SMU alum CEO Blake Walker, and three other SMU alumni fill executive management positions. In 2016, the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship ranked Arcis Golf the second fastest-growing, privately held Dallas area business in its annual Dallas 100 competition. The Caruth Institute measures sales growth within a designated three-year period to determine the ranking.
Arcis Golf also has been selected numerous times to the annual Inc. Magazine 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, while Walker has been recognized by EY as the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 award winner in the hospitality category for the Southwest region.
Working together creates additional engagement opportunities for Arcis, the Brierley Institute, and its top students, and enables Arcis to take advantage of on-campus speaking opportunities, involvement with student projects, and special Institute events.
“We are excited to be working with the students at the Brierley Institute, getting the benefit of their participation in this project while contributing to SMU, which means a great deal to many of us at Arcis Golf as well as the entire Dallas business community,” said Walker. “This is a wonderful symbiotic relationship, both entities gaining from working with the other, and a terrific platform for professional growth for the students after they graduate. We’re expecting great ideas from them.”
The Brierley Institute, named for customer loyalty trailblazer Harold M. (Hal) Brierley, is the first academic institute in the nation devoted to the study of customer engagement. Brierley and his wife, Diane, donated a $10 million gift to establish the Institute in 2016. Emphasizing a collaborative environment – including a free exchange of ideas, insights, and practices – the Institute brings together students, professors, and business practitioners to understand how and why customers engage with brands and how engagement drives customer loyalty and value.
“We are counting on the Brierley Institute and these talented MBA students to offer a fresh perspective and conduct integrated research on behalf of Arcis Golf,” said Chris Crocker, CMO, Arcis Golf. “The creation of bespoke customer engagement programs for our brand will be another differentiator in the golf and country club lifestyle arena.”
Recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, Arcis Golf is the premier operator of public and private golf clubs in the United States with a current portfolio of more than 60 properties in 15 states from coast to coast. An industry leader providing dynamic direction and unrivaled amenities that complement diverse playing experiences, Arcis Golf is committed to reinventing the golf and country club lifestyle experience.