Nike Golf announced that that it plans to “transition out” of golf equipment, instead focusing solely on its footwear and apparel business.
No specified timetable for the transition was announced. The decision means that Nike will soon stop producing clubs, balls and golf bags.
“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” Nike brand president Trevor Edwards said in a statement. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
Nike made a notable splash in the golf industry when it signed a young Tiger Woods to an equipment and apparel contract in 1996. It has grown as a golf brand since, notably signing Rory McIlory to a 10-year deal in 2013 worth a reported $200 million.
McIlroy’s win at the 2014 PGA Championship remains the most recent major title for a player using Nike equipment.
Last month Nike announced that golf sales fell 8.2 percent to $706 million for the fiscal year that ended May 31, making it the lowest-performing business segment of the company over that time period. According to corporate filings, Nike Golf sales peaked in 2013, with revenues of $792 million.
While Woods has been the brand’s most notable representative for the past two decades, he hasn’t hit a competitive shot in nearly a year while recovering from multiple back procedures. According to Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, plans are already underway to find Woods’ next equipment provider for his eventual return to competition.
“Clearly he and I need to be thinking about a change on the hard goods side,” Steinberg told GolfChannel.com. “He and I have discussed at length the plan for that, and feel comfortable with what we’re going to do going forward. But clearly there’s likely going to be a change.”
In addition to Woods and McIlroy, other notable pros currently using Nike equipment include Michell Wie, Suzann Petterson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Russell Henley, Paul Casey and Jhonattan Vegas.