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McIlroy to Nike

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Have been very busy this weekend and haven´t had the time to read replies regarding my "Asian" comment. I can´t see anything wrong with it. Not negative in any way. Fila - Acushnet - Titleist connection? Asian companies buying golf courses in Europe and America? Just let me know what was wrong with my comment because I have to be honest - I can´t see anything wrong with it. Different parts of the world = different ways to write and speak.

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Tiger won't be leaving Nike, T. He sells more equipment in his sleep than most other golfers combined. He moves the needle.

 

Rory and Tiger are good friends, and while going to Nike would make sense, I don't see it.

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Tiger won't be leaving Nike, T. He sells more equipment in his sleep than most other golfers combined. He moves the needle.

 

Rory and Tiger are good friends, and while going to Nike would make sense, I don't see it.

 

I'm not saying he's definitely going, but the whispers are Nike is not keen to keep paying him what they have been. Sure...On name alone Tiger still sells more equipment than most, but nowhere close to what he was doing for Nike 4 or 5 years ago. He's still high on the list, but everything else being equal, he's not #1 any more. So at this point it's perfectly reasonable for Nike to wonder if they should pay him the same money for what is clearly diminished returns.

 

The rumor is that Nike slashed his contract by 50% after the scandal. When it comes time to renew, I'm nearly certain Nike will be looking to reduce it even further.

 

 

My guess is, if Tiger is willing to eat a pay cut, he stays at Nike. If not, he'll go elsewhere.

 

You're right though...most PGA golfers don't move the needle much at all. I suspect guys like Rory and Luke have a bigger impact overseas. Here...meh.

 

I expect the trend will be towards the TaylorMade model. Strength in numbers and whatnot. The one guy model isn't going to work anymore, unless one of two things is true:

 

1. The guy is unquestionably the best golfer on the planet. That's not true of anyone right now.

2. The guy brings something special to the table (the it factor).

 

Tiger was unique in that he had both, although the 2nd was largely a product of the 1st.

 

Bubba (charisma and personality) remains an outstanding get for PING. He moves the needle. He sells equipment, and dollar for dollar, I'd bet he's more valuable than Tiger right now.

 

Rickie Fowler is THE guy from an impact perspective. He's selling clubs for Cobra (and likely as many as Bubba sells for PING or Tiger for Nike), but more importantly from an ROI standpoint, it's his style. Apparel is a huge money maker for any OEM who can sell it. R&D and materials cost are substantially less, and profit margins as a result are much larger.

 

Dollar for dollar, right now anyway, Tiger Woods is no Rickie Fowler. So while I wouldn't suggest there are many guys ahead of Tiger, he's not the first guy I'd want on my pro roster. He's not even #2. Point is...nobody, not even Nike is going to pay #1 money for a #3 with diminishing value at the cash register (especially if they can replace him with Rory for even money or better). Final note...don't underestimate Rory's Oakley contract. Not sure the length there, but Nike would definitely want to get him in their apparel ASAP. Whether that's a buyout, or a wait it out, I don't know.

 

Of course...none of this might actually happen, but I'm on a hot streak right now (Greg Hopkins to Back9Network), so I'm going to let it ride.

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after reading through most of these comments ive come to this conclusion. What if he goes to Nike? Will it effect the way you purchase clubs? if so you should stop listening to marketing people, and start worrying about performacne and how the clubs can make you better, no matter what brand they are.

 

Will it effect the game of golf? No, it just means that someone will be using different clubs and wearing different clothes.

 

Will it effect Mcilroy? possibly, but he knows what he is doing and he wouldnt do it if it wasnt for the best.

 

Will Nike drop Tiger? Absolutely not, Tiger invented Nike golf and without him it would be like Nike without Michael Jordan.

 

I dont think he will leave. When he switched to the 913 woods he has had the greatest performing year yet. and if he does leave, who cares now he plays with Nike's.

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I'm not saying he's definitely going, but the whispers are Nike is not keen to keep paying him what they have been. Sure...On name alone Tiger still sells more equipment than most, but nowhere close to what he was doing for Nike 4 or 5 years ago. He's still high on the list, but everything else being equal, he's not #1 any more. So at this point it's perfectly reasonable for Nike to wonder if they should pay him the same money for what is clearly diminished returns.

 

The rumor is that Nike slashed his contract by 50% after the scandal. When it comes time to renew, I'm nearly certain Nike will be looking to reduce it even further.

 

 

My guess is, if Tiger is willing to eat a pay cut, he stays at Nike. If not, he'll go elsewhere.

 

You're right though...most PGA golfers don't move the needle much at all. I suspect guys like Rory and Luke have a bigger impact overseas. Here...meh.

 

I expect the trend will be towards the TaylorMade model. Strength in numbers and whatnot. The one guy model isn't going to work anymore, unless one of two things is true:

 

1. The guy is unquestionably the best golfer on the planet. That's not true of anyone right now.

2. The guy brings something special to the table (the it factor).

 

Tiger was unique in that he had both, although the 2nd was largely a product of the 1st.

 

Bubba (charisma and personality) remains an outstanding get for PING. He moves the needle. He sells equipment, and dollar for dollar, I'd bet he's more valuable than Tiger right now.

 

Rickie Fowler is THE guy from an impact perspective. He's selling clubs for Cobra (and likely as many as Bubba sells for PING or Tiger for Nike), but more importantly from an ROI standpoint, it's his style. Apparel is a huge money maker for any OEM who can sell it. R&D and materials cost are substantially less, and profit margins as a result are much larger.

 

Dollar for dollar, right now anyway, Tiger Woods is no Rickie Fowler. So while I wouldn't suggest there are many guys ahead of Tiger, he's not the first guy I'd want on my pro roster. He's not even #2. Point is...nobody, not even Nike is going to pay #1 money for a #3 with diminishing value at the cash register (especially if they can replace him with Rory for even money or better). Final note...don't underestimate Rory's Oakley contract. Not sure the length there, but Nike would definitely want to get him in their apparel ASAP. Whether that's a buyout, or a wait it out, I don't know.

 

Of course...none of this might actually happen, but I'm on a hot streak right now (Greg Hopkins to Back9Network), so I'm going to let it ride.

 

Dollar for dollar, Tiger Woods still outsells Rickie Fowler, guarantee you that. Rickie gets lots of younger golfers, but he's also turned off lots of older golfers that hate the flat bills, the bright colors, and everything associated with Rickie. Say what you want about his scandal hurting him, but market research shows that after his scandal broke, while the golf ball sales dipped, Nike as a whole (golf wise) got an additional $2 million in sales that they wouldn't have gotten (study done by Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University). Since Nike Golf was created in 2000, through current times with the 20XI, Nike has claimed 8% of the golf ball market, which seems relatively small, until you factor in Titleist has 58% and a comparable company Bridgestone has 11%, and have been at it much longer. The golf ball line up has generated $91 million in sales, for a $60 million profit for Nike. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-27054_162-57303451/the-tiger-effect-how-woods-drives-the-golf-business/

 

That's just on the golf ball side of things. Take into account several other factors. The apparel side, sure, Rickie sells a lot of clothing, but so does Tiger. Name another company that scripts outfits for their athletes for majors and releases the scripting and then releases the clothing ahead of the majors and then sells them at the torrid pace that Nike does. There's not one. The #1 thing that Rickie Fowler sells? The Puma Monoline hat, at $30 per hat (I have several myself, bend the bill on all of them). Guess what Nike created for the public last year (after Anthony Kim and a few others started wearing them and created demand)? A flatbill hat that's selling well at $30 each (stores can't keep them in stock around here where there's a surplus of Puma hats, and they go on clearance more often than Nike hats).

 

Then there's other pieces of equipment. Dustin Johnson, and several others were playing the Graphite Designs Tour AD DI for a long time, and yet no one outside of gearheads wanted or knew much about the shaft. Tiger Woods puts one in play, and made for variants start popping up in clubs without the Nike brand name on them. You wouldn't believe how many people in stores ask salesmen (I've overheard it a lot) asking sales reps if they have "that orange and white shaft Tiger has in his driver". Before that, what shaft was it that he played faithfully and regularly? That'd be the Diamana Whiteboard in his driver and Diamana Blueboard in his fairway. Those shafts still have cult followings as a result of that, and before Tiger played them, only gearheads had heard of or used them. But how many companies introduced a made for variant into their club lines?

 

Another example? Tiger Woods puts a VRS Prototype driving iron in the bag at the British this past year. Sure, Rory had been playing the 503.i, Kuchar has his Fourteen HI-660, Phil had his Callaway Razr Proto, and a bunch of others had theirs. But Tiger puts one into play (which Nike still hasn't released yet), and other companies start coming back to releasing Utility Irons (Callaway put the X-Utility Proto in Ernie's hands and he won the British with it and now folks are clamoring for Utility Irons). Who started the appeal to customers? Tiger and his stinger with the utility iron and the buzz surrounding it leading up to the British.

 

The elephant in the room right now that I haven't discussed? I'm sure you know it's coming, and I won't disappoint you in this post. Some dude named Donald absolutely loves Tiger Woods. Why? Because Donald is Scotty Cameron's birth name, and while he'd had a few tour wins prior to Tiger putting one in the bag, nothing was as big for his putter line as when Tiger started winning with one of his putters in the bag. First it was the first generation sole stamped TeI3. Tiger winning his first Masters with one was such a success, it made Scotty make a huge change to the putter. He moved the TeI3 stamp from the sole to the face, where everyone knew the name of the putter and wanted to know what TeI3 meant (Teryllium). Then, Tiger switched to his GSS tri sole that he won 13 other majors with. And the brand became infamous. The $250 putter was born (and subsequently the $300, and $350 putter). Why? Because Tiger Woods had and used and won with one and everyone wanted the club the most polarizing golfer on the planet was using. No one wanted the Blue Goose, no one wanted the Cameron Golf Internationals, nor the other Ray Cooks, nor any of the other clubs Scotty had ever put out previously. But stick Scotty and Bettinardi in a room, create the TeI3 and put it in the hands of the most polarizing figure in the golf world and let him win with it? A cult following was created, and we all know where the marketing genius took it once the consumers latched on to Tiger and his classic. Needless to say, there's a museum in Japan for Scotty Cameron.

 

Tiger Woods doesn't just create the Nike market, he generates buzz that other companies latch on to and put into their product that helps not only Nike, but other companies as well. Tiger's domestic product may be shrinking just a little, but marketing is global, and no one does it better than Nike and Tiger Woods does, especially in Asia (where he rivals Michael Jackson in global appeal). Tiger Woods is still a rockstar, he still drives the global golf market, and he's still the man sitting atop the marketing mountain in the golf world.

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To put it simply, my 8 year old son would happily buy anything stamped Tiger Woods if I let him. He knows most of the other golfers, but hasn't had nearly the same amount of interest.

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Dude... I started playing golf 3 years ago because of Tiger Woods.

Damn RB7, sometimes your replies leave me speechless and I can only nod in agreement.

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Dollar for dollar, Tiger Woods still outsells Rickie Fowler, guarantee you that. Rickie gets lots of younger golfers, but he's also turned off lots of older golfers that hate the flat bills, the bright colors, and everything associated with Rickie. Say what you want about his scandal hurting him, but market research shows that after his scandal broke, while the golf ball sales dipped, Nike as a whole (golf wise) got an additional $2 million in sales that they wouldn't have gotten (study done by Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University). Since Nike Golf was created in 2000, through current times with the 20XI, Nike has claimed 8% of the golf ball market, which seems relatively small, until you factor in Titleist has 58% and a comparable company Bridgestone has 11%, and have been at it much longer. The golf ball line up has generated $91 million in sales, for a $60 million profit for Nike. http://www.cbsnews.c...-golf-business/

 

That's just on the golf ball side of things. Take into account several other factors. The apparel side, sure, Rickie sells a lot of clothing, but so does Tiger. Name another company that scripts outfits for their athletes for majors and releases the scripting and then releases the clothing ahead of the majors and then sells them at the torrid pace that Nike does. There's not one. The #1 thing that Rickie Fowler sells? The Puma Monoline hat, at $30 per hat (I have several myself, bend the bill on all of them). Guess what Nike created for the public last year (after Anthony Kim and a few others started wearing them and created demand)? A flatbill hat that's selling well at $30 each (stores can't keep them in stock around here where there's a surplus of Puma hats, and they go on clearance more often than Nike hats).

 

Then there's other pieces of equipment. Dustin Johnson, and several others were playing the Graphite Designs Tour AD DI for a long time, and yet no one outside of gearheads wanted or knew much about the shaft. Tiger Woods puts one in play, and made for variants start popping up in clubs without the Nike brand name on them. You wouldn't believe how many people in stores ask salesmen (I've overheard it a lot) asking sales reps if they have "that orange and white shaft Tiger has in his driver". Before that, what shaft was it that he played faithfully and regularly? That'd be the Diamana Whiteboard in his driver and Diamana Blueboard in his fairway. Those shafts still have cult followings as a result of that, and before Tiger played them, only gearheads had heard of or used them. But how many companies introduced a made for variant into their club lines?

 

Another example? Tiger Woods puts a VRS Prototype driving iron in the bag at the British this past year. Sure, Rory had been playing the 503.i, Kuchar has his Fourteen HI-660, Phil had his Callaway Razr Proto, and a bunch of others had theirs. But Tiger puts one into play (which Nike still hasn't released yet), and other companies start coming back to releasing Utility Irons (Callaway put the X-Utility Proto in Ernie's hands and he won the British with it and now folks are clamoring for Utility Irons). Who started the appeal to customers? Tiger and his stinger with the utility iron and the buzz surrounding it leading up to the British.

 

The elephant in the room right now that I haven't discussed? I'm sure you know it's coming, and I won't disappoint you in this post. Some dude named Donald absolutely loves Tiger Woods. Why? Because Donald is Scotty Cameron's birth name, and while he'd had a few tour wins prior to Tiger putting one in the bag, nothing was as big for his putter line as when Tiger started winning with one of his putters in the bag. First it was the first generation sole stamped TeI3. Tiger winning his first Masters with one was such a success, it made Scotty make a huge change to the putter. He moved the TeI3 stamp from the sole to the face, where everyone knew the name of the putter and wanted to know what TeI3 meant (Teryllium). Then, Tiger switched to his GSS tri sole that he won 13 other majors with. And the brand became infamous. The $250 putter was born (and subsequently the $300, and $350 putter). Why? Because Tiger Woods had and used and won with one and everyone wanted the club the most polarizing golfer on the planet was using. No one wanted the Blue Goose, no one wanted the Cameron Golf Internationals, nor the other Ray Cooks, nor any of the other clubs Scotty had ever put out previously. But stick Scotty and Bettinardi in a room, create the TeI3 and put it in the hands of the most polarizing figure in the golf world and let him win with it? A cult following was created, and we all know where the marketing genius took it once the consumers latched on to Tiger and his classic. Needless to say, there's a museum in Japan for Scotty Cameron.

 

Tiger Woods doesn't just create the Nike market, he generates buzz that other companies latch on to and put into their product that helps not only Nike, but other companies as well. Tiger's domestic product may be shrinking just a little, but marketing is global, and no one does it better than Nike and Tiger Woods does, especially in Asia (where he rivals Michael Jackson in global appeal). Tiger Woods is still a rockstar, he still drives the global golf market, and he's still the man sitting atop the marketing mountain in the golf world.

 

You've made some good points, and I some I simply can't agree with.

 

The idea that Callaway (or anyone else) started experimenting with what would eventually become the X-hybrid is preposterous. If anything you could argue that Tiger started looking at one because of the work Callaway was doing for Phil. I don't actually believe either. Neither is anything that will have widespread retail appeal. In both cases they were developed based on player needs, not because the other guys is doing it. It a niche club...nobody is going to make noise with it.

 

Any Scotty arguments miss the point. That's all the old Tiger. Yeah...he was huge for Scotty. WAS. The reality is he'll never have another Scotty in his bag so long as he's under contract to Nike. And is anybody really arguing that Methods are flying off the shelves because of it? I don't think so...guys are still buying Scotty. Tiger may have helped, but the Cameron brand is much, much bigger than Scotty.

 

The shaft argument intrigues me, but again...nothing to do with Nike (though it does illustrate a degree of needle moving). Interest is one thing, but...the gear heads, the guys who will spend $250+ for a shaft, most (not all) will make sure it's a good fit before they buy it. The general public...they aren't spending $250 on a shaft...not even if Jesus himself played it in his driver.

 

While I agree that Fowler's style turns off some of the older generation, I can assure you the same is true, twofold, for Tiger Woods as a result of the scandal. Now certainly you had guys who would never bag a Nike product before, but that numbers has absolutely increased dramatically since. Nike is banking on new Tiger starting to play like the old Tiger, and the minute they're convinced he's never going to get there again, it's over.

 

I just read the entire study. Again, it's interesting, but there are holes. It essentially gives Tiger 100% credit for the golf ball success (a ball that didn't exist before he signed on with Nike). It essentially works off the assumption that Nike wouldn't have sold a ball without him. Ludicrous.

 

It also contradicts itself a bit:

 

 

We assess Nike's decision to stand by Tiger Woods after the infamous incident in November 2009. While we have shown that the negative publicity of Tiger Woods generated relative loss in terms of revenue, profit and customer acquisition, our result indicates that even with the scandal, Nike made positive revenue, profit and customer acquisition overall.

Nike brought in less money overall and acquired fewer new customers, but since they made money, and did get some new customers, it's a win? The study almost certainly doesn't account for Tiger's pay cut (since all references to it are off-the-record, and unconfirmed by Nike), but you have to assume the numbers wouldn't look nearly as rosy, if Nike was paying Tiger the full ride.

 

I would agree completely that overseas markets are different, and that's likely where the biggest value in having Tiger Woods can be found.

 

As was just pointed out...LOTS of guys play golf because of Tiger Woods. Nobody has ever brought people to game like he did, and chances are nobody will again. But you're living in the past. That was a guy who won seemingly every tournament he entered. He won majors at the rate of 2 a year.

 

Now he's a guy who can't stop messing with his swing. When he wins, it's not much of consequence, and he's a guy who mails in putts at the Ryder Cup (I don't care...to me it's a huge difference between Europe retaining the cup, and Europe Wining the cup).

 

Fundamentally it's an argument over whether or not you think Tiger is Tiger, or Tiger was Tiger.

 

My thinking is that he's clearly a guy on the decline. The further we get from the most dominate force in golf, the more his value to sponsors decreases. You can't simply looks at what he makes a company without considering what he's costing them. Right now he's a money maker for Nike, but not at his old contract price. That's the fundamental debate here...would Nike pay new Tiger old Tiger money?

 

I don't think so...and I don't think anybody else will either. The only question really is how low will Nike go, and will it be so low that he goes elsewhere. Friends...or friendly...Tiger does not want to share Nike's spotlight with Rory. He likes being the guy. I don't think you'll see them both under the same umbrella...at least not for very long.

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Very Well stated RookieBlue7......TW is the stimulus that drives the entire industry, the active ingredient that makes the formula a success. BTW, I traded in my Newport Studio Select and bought a Slotline SSi-693 because I didn't like the feel of the SC and the Slotline had weight and a sightline that has been copied but not matched.

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Ill leave it at these few points:

 

What was the most talked about club at the Open Championship and the months leading up to it? Twitter numbers as well as web hits show its the Nike Prototype and Tiger Woods testing it with the PXi.

 

You say the study I linked said It works off the assumption Noke wouldn't have sold a ball if it weren't for Tiger. Prior to them signing Tiger, did The Oven exist? We're they a player in the golf market? No and no. So, no, without Tiger Woods they wouldn't have sold a golf ball.

 

Who did Forbes name as their most powerful athlete in the world? That'd be Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. He's the 12th most powerful celebrity in the world, and sports there's no contemporary in the golf world (LeBron ranks 17th).

 

Without looking, what are both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's career earnings on the course? No one can give you a round about number for Rors, but I guarantee you anyone that cares anything about golf knows and heard Tiger surpassed $100 million in career earnings this year.

 

The Woods effect? Look at TV ratings in events he plays versus ones he doesn't. There's a stark contrast in those ratings, and no one moves the viewership needle like Tiger Woods. The majors he didn't play in post scandal? Lowest ratings in a decade. Look at other tournaments. The Honda? 78% increase in viewership due to one TW being in the field from the previous year. The Arnold Palmer? 128% uptick in viewership. Sports executive polls of golfers they most wanted to see? Tiger Woods sits at 53%, Rory was next closest at 15%.

 

http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2012/5/17/3027272/tiger-woods-slips-but-hes-still-forbes-most-powerful-athlete

 

Scotty does now have a cult following, but why? Who cared before Tiger? And never say never on Tiger putting the Scotty in the bag. He's had it out at several events this year, as recently as the FedEx cup final. When Scotty's contract was up this past year, and there were negotiations for his services, where was he linked with before ultimately Titleist resigning him? Hint, the brand has a swoosh. And why? To keep a single person happy.

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I have a GD Tour ADDI but not because Tiger has one. I have one because it is what my swing needed, the fact that Tiger has one did not enter into the equation. I have played that shaft for since March and I have been paired with maybe a hundred different golfers and only one time did I meet someone who knew it was anything other than an orange shaft.

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Ill leave it at these few points:

 

What was the most talked about club at the Open Championship and the months leading up to it?

 

The long putter.

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There is no question that Tiger built Nike Golf. However, I do not agree that he is the reason for Scotty Cameron Putters success. No more than he is the reason for Vokey wedges success. Their partnership (maybe employment) with Titleist is the reason, not to mention they make a good product. The number one putter, wedge, shoe, and ball are Titleist. And the number 1 driver is TMag. When I look at other people's bags at the club, I do not see new Nike equipment much at all. TMag, Titleist, and Ping are the big three at my club and the places I have played.

 

I realize that is a very small sampling, but I will say Tiger is still a big draw as far as followings. Typically, on Sundays we finish the first 18 and are in the club having lunch when the other groups start coming in. Probably the most asked question is "How is Tiger doing?" This is alway early in the Sunday round, and I come home and finish watching it, cheaper beer and I can lay down and nap and watch, but while he generates a following, he does not generate club sales. Lots of Nike apparal. May have more to do with qualiity and availibility though.

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There is no question that Tiger built Nike Golf. However, I do not agree that he is the reason for Scotty Cameron Putters success. No more than he is the reason for Vokey wedges success. Their partnership (maybe employment) with Titleist is the reason, not to mention they make a good product. The number one putter, wedge, shoe, and ball are Titleist. And the number 1 driver is TMag. When I look at other people's bags at the club, I do not see new Nike equipment much at all. TMag, Titleist, and Ping are the big three at my club and the places I have played.

 

I realize that is a very small sampling, but I will say Tiger is still a big draw as far as followings. Typically, on Sundays we finish the first 18 and are in the club having lunch when the other groups start coming in. Probably the most asked question is "How is Tiger doing?" This is alway early in the Sunday round, and I come home and finish watching it, cheaper beer and I can lay down and nap and watch, but while he generates a following, he does not generate club sales. Lots of Nike apparal. May have more to do with qualiity and availibility though.

 

I see a lot of Nike equipment around here, especially in the Atlanta metro area. I will also point to this sampling. When Tiger switched to the Method, why could stores not keep the 001 in stock? When he switched to the 003, those flew off the shelves. Every eBay listing out there had Tiger's name synonymous with the Method. At that same time, no Scotties were moving on retail shelves, practically. There was one particular store that had a problem keeping Scotties in stock before Tiger switched, now they've always got a wall full and very few Methods. The 001 still rarely ever is in stock (there was a used one in there last week with a Lankin Deep Etched Corded Paddle on it for $205. I looked at it and put it down. 8 people picked it up and putted with it while I was checking Bettinardis and other putters out around their putting green. The 8th guy that putted with it bought it. He asked the sales rep if they could get him the all black Nike headcover Tiger uses to go with it so it'd be exactly like Tiger's.(they can't, it's a tour department only item)). I see and hear these types of interactions all the time in this store and the other one right up the street. When the VR LE drivers hit shelves, they had trouble keeping it in stock. People may end up breaking up with them and selling them, but the Nike product always sells well around here. I've seen guys go in stores asking about Nike blades because that's what Tiger uses. They couldn't hit a blade if their life depended on it, but they're intent on buying what Tiger uses.

 

I've yet to hear a single person ask about any other equipment because any other player out there uses XXX club.

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Does anybody have the DATA on club sales? Lots of "I see lots of Nike" or "I don't see any Nike", but no sales data (outside of the studies that RB7 linked to).

 

The problem with the argument, even with sales data, is that there are too many confounding variables. Do Nike, Ping, and Cobra all have the same amount of TV ads? Magazine ads? How many golf forums have they purchased? ;) What about the quality of the ads? What about the other staff players? What about...oh...the product itself?

 

You can say Bubba moves G20's, but maybe the G20 is just a better driver than the VR-S. You might argue that Fowler sells AMP irons, but maybe Cobra bought more ads for the AMP iron than Nike did for the VR Combo set.

 

Unless you asked every single person who bought clubs, "Why did you buy that?" and had them answer honestly, you can't really know how much influence any one of these guys have.

 

FWIW, at the Ryder Cup, Tiger's following was enormous. Even with the eminent risk of taking a golf ball to the dome, people were lining his fairways yelling, "Go get 'em, Tiger!" I don't see a lot of the backlash anymore...I just don't think people care. Some do, of course, but I think it's a really small, bitter group (of which T is president). :D

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Does anybody have the DATA on club sales? Lots of "I see lots of Nike" or "I don't see any Nike", but no sales data (outside of the studies that RB7 linked to).

 

The problem with the argument, even with sales data, is that there are too many confounding variables. Do Nike, Ping, and Cobra all have the same amount of TV ads? Magazine ads? How many golf forums have they purchased? ;) What about the quality of the ads? What about the other staff players? What about...oh...the product itself?

 

You can say Bubba moves G20's, but maybe the G20 is just a better driver than the VR-S. You might argue that Fowler sells AMP irons, but maybe Cobra bought more ads for the AMP iron than Nike did for the VR Combo set.

 

Unless you asked every single person who bought clubs, "Why did you buy that?" and had them answer honestly, you can't really know how much influence any one of these guys have.

 

FWIW, at the Ryder Cup, Tiger's following was enormous. Even with the eminent risk of taking a golf ball to the dome, people were lining his fairways yelling, "Go get 'em, Tiger!" I don't see a lot of the backlash anymore...I just don't think people care. Some do, of course, but I think it's a really small, bitter group (of which T is president). :D

 

It's the same way at Augusta, and was the year after the scandal.

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You know I was thinking about this on the course today. And it could be that there are two types of people out there, Those that buy clubs because their favorite player uses them, and people who follow players because they play the same brand. Last year, I played mainly Titleist equipment and most of the guys I was pulling for were Titleist staffers. This year, I went to Mizuno and am a big Luke Donald fan.

 

Well, I was before but now I root for him and Byrd because they are my brands men. Am I going to swap my MP62's for MP64's because Luke did. No.

 

I would never dream of playing a club because some one does or doesn't play them, but I can understand that there are people who do.

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I'm sticking with Richard on this one. Nothing shocks me anymore but I think Rory is of the, "I want to be the man," mindset and he knows that ain't happening at Nike. Certainly Nike has the bucks to pull it off but I don't know that it can give Rory the assurances. Can they reproduce equipment for him? Yes and no. It took them forever to find Tiger a driver that he was comfortable with and certainly he has never driven the ball with one of their pieces of equipment the way he did with his old Titleist.

 

I've been around long enough to see some crashes when players have changed equipment companies - Ernie Els comes quickly to mind.

 

My gut says Rory stays.

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I can see your point Rev. However I also think part of "being the man" as it where is being a global sports icon. No one else in golf has that status but Tiger and that's both because of his record and the Nike machine making it so. If that's what Rory wants, he either goes to Nike or somehow convinces the Fila brass to do the same thing.

 

At Titleist he'll be a great player, but he'll never "be the man". Titleist has always been about the stable of players and certainly will not put the same marketing dollars to show him off that Nike would for example.

 

So, IMO, the real question is: Do you want to be the "man" of a stable of players or do you want to be the "man" in global popularity? Figure that out and that'll answer what he does/wants to do pretty quick.

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I believe that Tiger was the man because he won. Nike did not have a thing to do with Tiger winning. OK, they provided comfortable shoes, and clothing, they made a ball that he liked, and they paid someone to make clubs for him since they could not. He became a global icon because he won. In the process he gave Nike a leg up in becoming a force in the golf industry.

 

I can see Nike wanting someone to replace Tiger eventually, but if Nike dropped out of the golf business, no one would have to be rocked to sleep at night. However, if Tiger walked away never to return to the course, Nike would ....have some bricks to sell, Smelly bricks.

 

While I would say that Nike has made much better equipment of late, I would not say they are better than Titleist. If Rory want to replace Tiger, which obviously he does. He must do this on the golf course. He needs to stick with or go to the company that can help him do that. I do not believe that Nike is that company. TaylorMade perhaps, but then you ask why.

 

Yes, Nike can offer him big bucks, but if he does not win, he will be another Anthony Kim or Michele Wie.

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