In May, Adidas Group announced that they were planning to sell three of it's companies: TaylorMade, Adams, and Ashworth. Adams and TaylorMade are world-renown golf club manufacturers; neither brand was created by Adidas, but was acquired through mergers with other sportswear companies. Herbert Hainer, long-standing CEO of Adidas, was fairly blunt in outlining Adidas' future strategy in relation to it's golfing division: "TaylorMade is a very viable business. However, we have decided that now is the time to exit equipment and to focus even more on our core strength in footwear and apparel.
However, it is not all bad news for the golfing industry. On Thursday of last week, Adidas Golf released a press statement that they had agreed a sponsorship deal with American professional golfer Dustin Hunter Johnson; who, this weekend, became a golfing hero as part of the winning American Ryder Cup team. This signals that Adidas Golf still indeed to manufacture golfing footwear and apparel, and are not completely exiting the golf merchandising business; as some analysts suggested (in May) and the golf industry feared. You may ask, after the global success of the 41st Ryder Cup, why are Adidas exiting the manufacturing of golf equipment: golf-industry statistics suggest that participation in golf is declining amongst the young, who view it as unfashionable. The other inherent problem with manufacturing golf equipment is that the equipment lasts for decades, and does not wear out at the same rate as golf apparel.