SBD/Issue 87/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Nike Debuting New Line Of Golf Clubs Without Tiger's Promo Power

Nike This Month Launching
New Line Of Woods
Nike will "launch new golf clubs this month without the promotional muscle" of Tiger Woods, according to Miguel Bustillo of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Nike said that its Victory Red STR8-FIT Tour fairway woods -- which will go on sale January 28 for $299 -- were "designed with input from all 13 U.S. golf stars who promote Nike's golf products." But the "promotional materials make no mention" of Woods. Instead, the promos "trumpet that the clubs were tested in tournament play" by '09 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover. Bustillo notes Nike has "faced deteriorating golf sales because of the recession." Annual revenue at Nike Golf "fell 11% last year to $648[M] after peaking at $725[M] the year before." Nike Golf's "slump mirrors a wider plunge in the market for golf apparel and gear." Orlando-based research firm Golf Datatech LLC indicated that sales of clubs and other hard equipment "fell 11.9% in the first 11 months of 2009 at golf-course shops and specialty stores." Bustillo notes while Woods will be "out of the limelight for at least part of this year" due to his indefinite leave from the PGA Tour, some industry experts believe that Nike has a "larger set of options" from an endorsement standpoint than in recent years. Both Glover and Stewart Cink won their first major titles last year, and Michelle Wie "won her first professional women's tournament last year." Golf Datatech co-Founder Tom Stine: "What Tiger gave Nike is credibility. When you have the top guy out there winning with your stuff, it tells the public that you have top-line equipment. But they have plenty of other golfers doing that now" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/19).

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