Maybe it was doomed from the start, Nike’s golf club business. Since Tiger Woods soared above his sport into a branding stratosphere that made him an international figure almost untethered from golf, Nike chose David Duval — one-time Woods rival — as the main endorser of its nascent golf gear efforts. Not long after the announcement, Duval’s brilliant career fell off a cliff. (He did win the British Open with Nike clubs in his bag first, it must be said.)
This week Nike announced it was getting out of the golf equipment business, though it still intended to be the “undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel.” The move isn’t too surprising — the golf club, bag and ball business hasn’t been one of Nike’s big moneymakers. The move follows rival Adidas’s announcement last year that it would sell its TaylorMade golf equipment business and — you guessed it — focus on golf footwear and apparel.