The statement was only 141 words long, yet the consequences for many would be devastating. I’m not talking about the likes of Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, I’m talking about those who work behind the scenes. Those whose mortgages and livelihoods depend on working with the Sports giant. They are all too easy to forget.
Nike golf has made the stunning announcement that they will no longer be making golf clubs, bags and balls. The company’s market share had grown steadily over the years but it never achieved the heights it was accustomed to. The company will instead switch its focus to golfing apparel and footwear.
The announcement will of course now create a turbulent few months as players signed to Nike will now find new companies to supply their clubs, bags and balls. They will all be fine. Deals will be done. It’s not them I feel sorry for. The big names are only one part of the game. Nike also sponsored LET players, Long Drive players, small-time professionals who believed that their dreams came true when signing their deals with Nike. They will now have to find someone else in a competitive market.
But our industry doesn’t only revolve around the players. Salespeople, PR companies attached to Nike, those in manufacturing, your local pro shop who stocks Nike clubs and balls who will now need to find new deals...there are a lot of people who depended on Nike. Many will be left devasted by the news.
Don’t worry about McIlroy, Woods and those on tour making an extremely good living from the game. Instead, spare a thought for those lower down the ladder, trying to make their living in the same ways we all do.
141 words have just changed their lives.