Nike has announced that they will no longer manufacture golf clubs due to poor sales. They will focus solely on selling apparel and footwear from now on.
“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” Nike president Trevor Edwards said according to Golf Digest . With brands like Taylormade and Callaway on top of the golf world, Nike’s sales in 2013 and 2014 were around $800 million.
Nike has only manufactured clubs since 2002 and has usually been outdueled by aforementioned brands such as Taylormade and Callaway. Even during the “Tiger effect”, the driver, arguably the most popular club in the bag, was where Taylormade has been king.
Many Nike PGA Tour pros will continue to use the clubs for now, and will continue to wear the apparel as Nike looks to build a strong reboot of their apparel. Nike Brand has always seemed to put heavy emphasis on clothing anyway, as no other sports really use Nike equipment.
For example, the NBA uses a Spalding basketball and always has and the MLB players tend to use Louisville Slugger bats and Rawlings gloves. In the NFL, the helmets are from Riddell, and the ball is from Wilson.
The jerseys are from Nike, but that’s apparel. Basically, let’s all just settle down here as Nike mostly is an apparel company anyway.
If anything, this move could help them open more doors of innovation in the golf apparel industry. It does make you wonder what clubs the players will use now, and that is a big question.
Some players will certainly change to Taylormade while others may change to the new, popular PxG clubs. Will Rory McIlroy continue to wear Nike clothing?
He was going to represent popular shoe company New Balance if he went to the Olympics (which he’s not) so that may be an interesting thought as well. However, there’s no doubt that Nike will continue to pay McIlroy more money.
Tony Finau, one of golf’s new stars and long hitters says he was “shocked” about the move according to Golf Digest, but he also understands that it’s a business.
“I totally understand it from their perspective,” Finau said according to Golf Digest. “They’re killing it in apparel. They’re killing it in footwear. It’s just business.”
Indeed they are, which is why Nike Golf will still be in good shape. They just weren’t meant for golf equipment like some of the other brands like Titlest, Callaway and Taylormade, who pretty much thrive on the success of their equipment.
In short, keep calm, and golf on.
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