For many years Nike was a great sponsor to HOG, especially the fantasy golf leagues. They provided some huge prizes. They also sent me a bunch of clubs, bags and balls to test over the years. Some I liked. Some I didn’t like, especially the golf balls. Apparently with no more Tiger Woods fueling sales and buzz, the likes of Rory McIlory and a few others aren’t enough to keep interest at a high enough level to drive sales.
BEAVERTON, Ore. 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,” said Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” said Daric Ashford, President of Nike Golf. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”
The golf equipment market is already flooded, so in the long run I think this is good. Sometimes businesses branch out too much and go away from focusing on their strengths. Nike’s apparel sales are so huge, golf equipment was really not worth it. They tried to be groundbreaking and cutting edge with their designs in golf clubs, like the square “Sumo” driver. In the long run those quirky, weird looking clubs just made Nike look bad. The Nike Sumo “Mickey” was one of the worst (pictured).
It’s better not to produce a product than it is to just produce one that makes you look bad, or desperate.