Beaverton, United States: Nike Inc has announced that it ‘will accelerate innovation in its golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers’.
With this new focus, Nike Golf will transition out of equipment – including clubs, balls and bags.
“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” said Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand.
“We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
News of Nike’s decision comes 20 years after the company signed Tiger Woods to a lucrative equipment and apparel contract.
Among other high-profile ‘Nike athletes’ are Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie.
Daric Ashford, President of Nike Golf, said: “Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide.
“Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”
McIlroy took to Twitter to show his support for Nike employees and described the equipment as ‘genuinely great’.
McIlroy said: “Sad for @nikegolf employees that worked so hard and made genuinely great golf equipment. Your support will always be appreciated #TeamNike.”
Last month, Nike announced that golf sales fell 8.2 per cent to US$706 million for the fiscal year that ended May 31.
According to corporate filings, Nike Golf sales peaked in 2013, with revenues of US$792 million.
Nike Golf is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.