Nike has decided to pull out of their golf business. This is another indication of the decline of the sport in America. Nike began its golf business in 1999, when they sponsored 20-year old Tiger Woods. A great deal at the time, it seemed to start to fall apart with the struggling professional and personal life of Woods.
Interestingly, after being featured in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years, golf received a great boost. In Europe, actions are being taken to take the sport to a larger demographic - children and women. However, the case in the US seems to be pretty much the opposite. The number of players has decreased from 30 million in 2015 to about 23 million last year.
Adidas, just as Nike, is also looking to exit the sport. Both of them, however, will still be producing footwear and clothing. At this point, other sports such as basketball, football, and athletics offer better potential for sales.
The other issue the two giants are facing, according to business experts, is that golf is a mature sport but it has a lot of suppliers, making competition fierce. American golf business has become a tough environment.
It all seems to indicate the sport of golf is not having a good time attracting millennials, as explained by Matt Powell of NPD. "From the golf industry statistics, we know that rounds are down. We know that millennials are not picking up the game, and boomers are aging out. The game is in decline," he said in a video in July.
In their statement, Nike said that they will continue to “accelerate innovation” in its apparel and footwear business. President Trevor said, “We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel. We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”