Crouching Tiger: Woods' Asia Trip Draws Young Consumers For Nike Golf
Tiger Woods is in Asia this week to promote Nike, and he has “enjoyed 'rock star' receptions at golf clinics and meet-and-greets,” according to Yi Hyun-young of REUTERS. Nike Golf President Cindy Davis said the company’s decision to stay with Woods amid his personal scandal "was absolutely right and there was not even a hesitation in being with Tiger." Davis: "He's been a part of what we do and making the very best product and to have an athlete of that calibre to give us feedback and perspective and be part of the team. ... Tiger does that in spades in developing the innovations we bring to the market." Woods has traveled to China and South Korea, where he was “greeted by throngs of fans at a Nike shop opening at Shenzhen's Mission Hills golf complex and cheered at a packed assembly hall where he addressed Beijing sports students with Chinese Olympic track gold medallist Liu Xiang.” Davis: “It has been a mob-scene." Davis said that one of Nike's “aims in bringing Woods to Asia was to inspire the younger generation to take up the sport and failing that, develop an interest in the apparel.” Davis: "(Asia) represents about 40 percent of the global golf market and growing" (REUTERS, 4/14). Davis added Asia is a "priority market for us," and that China and South Korea "represent some of the greatest growth opportunities." Davis: "If you look what has happened with China in particular in the last two years, it's amazing how golf has just multiplied there. We point to two key reasons. One, as the economics are getting stronger, we are seeing a growing middle class, and as the middle class is growing, there is a lot more aspiration to play golf. And then lastly, and really what I think is the most exciting thing that's happened in golf truly in the last decade is the fact that golf is now an Olympic sport" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 4/14).