Nike’s decision to partially leave golf came on same day Adidas reported huge recovery

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 5, 2016 11:47

The decision by Nike Golf, one of the biggest sponsors of the game in the world, to partially exit the industry, came on the same day that Adidas reported a recovery in its golf business.

Adidas announced in May that it was selling most of its golf operations, and one financial quarter on Nike has made a similar decision.

However, contrary to some reports, Nike is not leaving the golf industry entirely – it will stop making and selling bags, balls and clubs, but it will continue to produce footwear and apparel.

The decisions by both Nike and Adidas come as participation in golf in the USA and UK has dropped sharply in the last 20 years, although there are some signs of growth in recent months as golf authorities have been trying to promote the game to non traditional player profiles, such as women and children.

josh hallett nike golf

Flickr / Josh Hallett

Adidas said in May it would sell TaylorMade and Adams, which sell golf clubs and other equipment, as well as the Ashworth golf shoes and clothing brand.

However, on the same day that Nike revealed it will be partially moving away from golf, Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said there has been a rise in sales and margins at the golf business it is trying to sell in the last quarter. TaylorMade saw an astonishing 24 per cent increase in sales year-on-year in the second quarter.

He added that Adidas was in talks with several parties interested in the business.

Nike released this statement about golf, which stunned many in the industry:

‘Nike, Inc. announced today that it will accelerate innovation in its golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers. With this new focus, Nike Golf will transition out of equipment — including clubs, balls and bags.

‘”We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” says Trevor Edwards, president, Nike Brand. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf”.’

Nike sponsors arguably golf’s two biggest names since the start of this century: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

US sports commentator Kyle Porter said: “Personally, I’m shocked not by the fact that a company is getting out of the equipment business – it’s a costly endeavour; rather, it’s that a company which has Tiger Woods as a staffer is getting out of the equipment business. But again, we don’t know how long the transition will last. Maybe Woods will play Nike sticks until he’s 60 and then Nike will end its equipment business.

“It’s going to be pretty strange though to see McIlroy and Woods playing Mizunos or TaylorMades or wherever they end up next if Nike phases things out sooner rather than later.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 5, 2016 11:47
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