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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 206
Adidas bought Adams just four years ago, and yet already wants to offload it. Should the golfing industry be worried? That depends. It’s a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario in a way. On the one hand, here’s a company (Nike) that’s spent unfathomable amounts of money to ensure the sport’s two biggest names - Woods and Rory McIlroy – used its products, and yet even with the almost limitless exposure that those sponsorships provided, people still didn’t buy its products in adequate numbers to make a palatable business case. On the other hand, spending $200 million on one player, and well in excess of that amount on another, necessitates crazy revenue numbers. Perhaps if Nike hadn’t inked those industry- changing deals, it may not have sold as many clubs, but it wouldn’t have had to. The Nike situation, however, likely has less to do with the desirability of its golf clubs, and more to do with the desirability of golf. Those who love and play the game will always buy its products, whether they be from TaylorMade, Mizuno, Callaway, Ping or any of the myriad other brands on the market. But it’s hard to deny that there are simply fewer people loving and playing the game. Data from United States body the National Golf Foundation shows that last year there were 1.6 million fewer golfers playing the game in the US than there were in 2011, with numbers dropping from 25.7 million total golfers to 24.1 million. The number of players classified as “committed golfers” dipped below 20 million for the first time throughout that span, falling to 19.5 million. It’s a similar story in Europe, where KPMG’s Golf Participation Report, released earlier this year, shows that while the downward trend of people playing the game has stabilised, it’s still a downward trend. The number of people playing the sport in Europe fell 0.3 per cent last year, with 70 per cent of the countries surveyed either treading water or declining in their participation rates in 2015. Closer to home things are slightly more positive, with the Australian Golf Industry Council reporting a 3.6 per cent increase in the number of rounds played nationwide in 2014/15, compared with the previous year. They say that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In Nike and Adidas’ case, they’ve provided plenty of water, but it’s increasingly apparent that there are no longer enough horses to drink it. Here’s hoping the Olympic exposure of golf spreads this game like we’ve been told it will. E IS THE DEMISE OF NIKE’S RANGE OF GOLF EQUIPMENT INDICATIVE OF A WIDER MALAISE WITHIN THE GOLFING EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY?
GA Express 205
GA Express 207