Did Nike get into clubs at the wrong time?

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cbaker2882

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So there is this guy named Tiger, and another named Rory. Both were signed by Nike on mega contracts. Both combined for A LOT of wins. Every time there is a new product it's almost guaranteed people say "if Tiger were to play it, it would sell like crazy", which would logically make sense. So...for Nike, what was the issue? I certainly don't think it was a lack of quality, because a lot of their stuff was actually quite good.

To me...I think it was timing. Tiger was hot. Rory came in hot. The problem was, the demographic they attracted wasn't old enough yet. The average golf club consumer I would think has to be 30's+, if not even into their 40's or 50's. Tiger was uber popular, but consumers who were able to buy were already set in their ways.

So the ultimate question here is...do you think Nike would have done much better club sale/ball sale wise if they were to have come out recently, instead of when they did? Now a days a lot of the people who grew up on Tiger and that swoosh are approaching and into their 30's, if not in their 40's now, and are primed to spend money on equipment being touted by Tiger. Or do you think Nike's fate would have happened the same if they were brought out semi recently?
 

radiman

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In my opinion, outside of their players lines (which were quite good), I feel like the rest of their lineup seemed kind of out there at times. Personally, for me, I never really got along with Nike drivers. Didn't care for how they felt and they just didn't seem to be very forgiving compared to other OEM's. It's a tough market to crack. Multiple quality OEM's have come and gone.
 

cbaker2882

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In my opinion, outside of their players lines (which were quite good), I feel like the rest of their lineup seemed kind of out there at times. Personally, for me, I never really got along with Nike drivers. Didn't care for how they felt and they just didn't seem to be very forgiving compared to other OEM's. It's a tough market to crack. Multiple quality OEM's have come and gone.
The only thing there is though, other OEM's have come and gone, but none had the backing of Nike. Nike didn't go under or not have the money to continue, they basically just gave up because they didn't want to keep taking that L. I'm just wondering if it wouldn't have been as bad of an L or maybe could have been a win if they would have come into the game about 5-10 years later instead of when they did.
 

baylrballa

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I wonder what they could do if they bought/partnered with one of the smaller companies like tour edge and put the Nike marketing machine behind a solid team and product.
 

IceyShanks

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Interesting question, I'll add one to it, if nike still made clubs and Tiger and Rory played them, would their contracts be even bigger than they are now?:unsure:
 

hef63303

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Nike's issue was that they did not make the amount of money in the club business that they make in the rest of their business. The apparel and shoe business is incredibly profitable, from the margin side. Often double the markup as from golf clubs. The apparel and shoe retailers do not generally get netdown money at the end of the selling period like golf club manufacturers are expected to do. And they are not expected to take back unsold merchandise like club manufacturers often do. They got out of the club business because their profits were not good, not because they were not selling enough to be in it.
 

cbaker2882

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They got out of the club business because their profits were not good, not because they were not selling enough to be in it.
But if they sold more, their profits would be better, no? I'd have to imagine if they sold a ton of units, they wouldn't have gotten out.
 

Snickerdog

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Wasn't ever really drawn to the Nike clubs. They tried it, just wasn't enough profit for them to continue.
 

McLovin

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i'd kinda like to see them get back into the market. I still their apparel everywhere. and like you say, their target demographic is older and has the $$$ to buy the clubs.
 

Muchmore18

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I loved my Nike clubs. I had a full set except for wedges. Only two left in the bag now, the 5 wood and the putter. IF they ever got back in I would definitely want to jump back in
 

JB

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Did they get in at the wrong time? Probably based on the stuff they released early.
I still believe their biggest issue was absolutely abysmal marketing, where they tried to market the clubs the way they sell crappy shoes.
 

SquirrelyDave

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I wonder what they could do if they bought/partnered with one of the smaller companies like tour edge and put the Nike marketing machine behind a solid team and product.
I think they’d just sink the company they bought. They can’t market to golfers to save their product lines...... They made decent products, at least some of them were, but their marketing was just bad.
 

scott.french3

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The irons that Tiger and Rory would play from Nike have a very small potential market that is covered by quality products from more established companies. Developing various cavity backs to address the remaining golfer market has lots of competition and requires a significant R&D effort.

Callaway and Ping have had various iron offerings through the years including cavity backs that were used by PGA and LPGA pros. Thus, their product offerings had wide appeal at various levels. Hard to compete as a newcomer against established players.
 

cbaker2882

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The irons that Tiger and Rory would play from Nike have a very small potential market that is covered by quality products from more established companies. Developing various cavity backs to address the remaining golfer market has lots of competition and requires a significant R&D effort.

Callaway and Ping have had various iron offerings through the years including cavity backs that were used by PGA and LPGA pros. Thus, their product offerings had wide appeal at various levels. Hard to compete as a newcomer against established players.
I think that bolded portion was absolutely the issue. Essentially their target market when they broke into clubs was between the ages of around 10-30. Not exactly the market with money. That market now however is around 30-50, and now has the income to do so. While they struggled with marketing, I'm honestly not sure it would have mattered. The people they were grabbing the attention of just didn't have the money to buy, and the ones that had the money to buy were already stuck in their ways with other brands.
 

JB

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I think that bolded portion was absolutely the issue. Essentially their target market when they broke into clubs was between the ages of around 10-30. Not exactly the market with money. That market now however is around 30-50, and now has the income to do so. While they struggled with marketing, I'm honestly not sure it would have mattered. The people they were grabbing the attention of just didn't have the money to buy, and the ones that had the money to buy were already stuck in their ways with other brands.
This could be true. Nobody likes to mention it, but I think there are a LOT of golfers, which is naturally an older and more affluent market that just think the brand is a giant flaming turd based on all of their previous issues and they haven’t forgotten.
 

cbaker2882

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This could be true. Nobody likes to mention it, but I think there are a LOT of golfers, which is naturally an older and more affluent market that just think the brand is a giant flaming turd based on all of their previous issues and they haven’t forgotten.
Yep, 100%. As a brand they didn't have much of a chance breaking into that set market. The market they could break into, which I think they did decently, were just all too young and didn't have the money to consistently buy. I knew a few people that were all in on Nike clubs though. Just not anywhere near enough.
 

NoShanks

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I dont Think they got into the game too early. They spent too big too early to try to catch up and produced terrible clubs. Ideally they should start small and build up gradually with quality clubs to established a good base of lineups.
 

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They just don't do it... I think they were better at other products and determined it was better to close the oven than keep funding a small margin. I played the powersoft ball and engage wedges but was never impressed with drivers or iron sets.
 

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I think they got out of clubs at the wrong time. They were gaining traction with consumers and of course right now they would have Tiger, Riry, and Koepka under contract.
 
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Trout Bum

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I loved the clubs up to the VR’s then went lime green lost me
 

tequila4kapp

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I think that bolded portion was absolutely the issue. Essentially their target market when they broke into clubs was between the ages of around 10-30. Not exactly the market with money. That market now however is around 30-50, and now has the income to do so. While they struggled with marketing, I'm honestly not sure it would have mattered. The people they were grabbing the attention of just didn't have the money to buy, and the ones that had the money to buy were already stuck in their ways with other brands.
IMO if you aren’t grabbing the attention of consumers with money (and especially when you have the single most marketable golfer in history) you have a marketing problem not a timing or demographics problem.
 
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mikeg_74

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I don’t think it was timing, I think it was a a lack of commitment to make golf clubs to help golfers and a commitment to make golf clubs to take advantage of the Rory or tiger popularity.

they had some great golf engineers at The Oven that if you let them loose could have transformed the brand
 

Badger_Golfer

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Id say that their clubs just werent that good. They were decent, yes but Nike was really more about brand image and hype than it was that they were the best clubs you could buy.
When Tiger was on the top of the golf world and was winning with Nike clubs, it was fine but when Rory signed with Nike and struggled with them, it kind of shattered their image.
Nike certainly made some very good clubs. I personally was always a fan of the square headed woods and Slingshot irons. Some of the later Nike irons in the VR line were very good too. It was just too few and far between to sustain the brand though.
 

Mad_Brad

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Relying on Tiger/Rory to sell gear sort of puts too much emphasis on "I need to play what the pro is playing".
The everyday golfer still needed to be able to use the clubs, and have them perform for what they needed.

For me, from release to release (especially with drivers), it was just too different. Black, Yellow, Red, Black, Yellow, Blue.

I do wish they were still making bags though. They had some nice looking bags.
 

Nate

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That Nike Vapor 3W I owned was probably one of the best fairway woods I’ve hit. Wish their department had done better.
 

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