Monday, March 18, 2013
The awkward TV ads with the players clearly stifling their laughter and yet happily cashing the TMaG check, the dreadful "IER" hats, the dull print ads with simply the phrase "IER" added - all of it, just plain bad and not befitting or comparable with the other strokes of marketing genius they have pulled off in recent years. For example, the yellow bucket hat promotion earlier in the year was cool, contemporary and worked across different platforms. This is just plain terrible...ier!
Friday, March 8, 2013
Yesterday, industry giant, TaylorMadeAdidas Golf (TMaG is less of a mouthful) announced another stellar set of numbers. Proof positive that their aggressive marketing tactics, sponsorship of leading Tour players and sell though at retail show confirms there is life in the retail golf business. For the record, they reported iron sales in 2012 up 32%, with metal woods growing by 21% from the previous year. Footwear was up and even their golf bag sales grew 47%. In total, sales for the year were up $390 million at $1.7 billion - impressive numbers in a very tough market. Mark King, their head honcho said that sales of the new products, including the (ugly - my words - not his!) R1 driver, RocketBladez irons, and adidas Golf’s adizero footwear have also been very strong year to date. TMaG are hitting on all cylinders for sure, but these are really zero sum gains as the overall market is not growing - it would seem they are taking share from the other big boys in the market, Titleist, Ping, Cleveland, Nike and of course Callaway.
Speaking of Callaway, I read with interest that the have sold their only remaining ball plant in Chicopee, MA and become tenants. Probably a good idea and adding $3.9 million to the coffers won't do any harm - but on the day we are reading about TMaG's $1,7 billion it seems like a drop in the ocean. Callaway have a great product line up this year and the industry needs a strong number two to keep the number one on their toes. I expect to see a market share bounce back, perhaps in Q3 of this year as the first year of Chip Brewer's tenure rolls out and a terrific and simplified product line up sells through.