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Tiger Woods has not put his game on display

for over a year and his last PGA Tour win was

in August of 2013. The 40-year-old Woods will

return to play in the Safeway Open, October 13-

16, but Nike, who’s clubs he has played since

2002 is getting out, out of the club, bag and ball

business to concentrate on shoes and apparel.

Tiger and Nike, inseparable in the minds of

many, have had an amazing run together.

Woods currently has 79 Tour wins, including

14 majors, and ranks second all-time in both

categories. Nike though, was never able to

come up with a category-defining club, in spite

of having Tom Stites, one of the most respected

club designers in the business, on their payroll.

With Woods, under the most lucrative contract

in golf, however, they became the number one

golf apparel brand in sports.

Woods and other Nike staff members, most

notably Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie, will

continue to wear their Nike Swoosh apparel.

Golfers just won’t be able to purchase Nike

clubs, balls or equipment.

The overall effect the Nike withdrawal from the

retail market is uncertain but a good estimate

is it probably won’t be very large. The golf

division never had more than $800 million in

total sales ($706 million in 2015), although

actual club sales are unknown. The company

was never able to approach a 10% market

share in hard goods.

The contention that Nike’s problems stem from

the fact that Woods has not been playing is

incorrect. Nike did not have market leadership

or even contend for leadership, when Woods

was at his best. His presence onTour alone never

generated the amount of business Nike needed

to dominate the equipment sector, although he

did help push soft goods to the number one spot.

Golf for Nike was a tiny part of their overall

business, less than two percent, and several

factors virtually preordained their decision.

The small market share, plus an industry

where product lifecycles are measured often

in months with relatively large development

costs meant staying just didn’t make sense. It

became obvious golf equipment had to go.

The biggest impact could be seen by competing

shoe and apparel brands FootJoy, Adidas and

Under Armour. Adidas, like Nike, is also selling

Golf Business:

Tiger’s In – Nike’s Out



NWO Golf Links