TaylorMade CEO interview: '9 of top 12 players use M3/M4 - only five are contracted'

David Abeles talks 2018 US Open, Tiger Woods, Twist Face dominance, 41% sales increase in Q1 and more. 

Charlie Lemay's picture
Submitted by Charlie Lemay on

TaylorMade CEO interview: '9 of top 12 players use M3/M4 - only five are contracted'

 

TaylorMade CEO  David Abeles sat down with CNBC's Dominic Chu to discuss how the brand is shaping up heading into the 2018 US Open.

Around the usual spiel were some juicy nuggets…

On the 2018 US Open...

"It’s great for golf when you think about a major championship in a major city like New York...it’s a big week for golf and a big week for TaylorMade.

WOODS SAYS PLAYERS MAY MISS TEE TIMES AT US OPEN BECAUSE OF TRAFFIC

I think about our athletes and how they’re positioned...I’m really excited. We currently have five of the top 10 athletes in the world playing TaylorMade, and in addition to that Tiger Woods who happens to be trending towards the top 10 and we anticipate in a short period of time he’ll be back in there."

On DJ following his win at the St Jude Classic last weekend...

"The walk-off homer on the last...DJ is what I call a supertalent. To regain the number one status is fantastic and I’m expecting nothing other than great play at Shinnecock this week."

On brands the company own...

"We own three brands. TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth, but our focus is mainly on the TaylorMade brand, that’s where we spend our commercial time, our energy, our resources to ensure the TaylorMade brand is stood up as the world’s best performance brand."

On TaylorMade's hottest products...

"We’ve got a series of hot products. We have launched a product called Twist Face which is in the M3 and M4 driver which is taking over the world of golf right now and we’re very excited about that.

REVIEW: M3 DRIVER

(Twist Face) If you want to hit it straighter and further, that’s exactly what it does. Ironically, when you think of Twist Face we actually developed it for golfers like us.

Nine of the top 12 players in the world are in M3 or M4 drivers with Twist Face technology right now - only five of them are contracted athletes." 

On sales...

"Whether it’s Twist Face or the P790 iron which is a hollow-back forged foam filled construction iron, one of the hottest irons in the game right now, the strength of our Spider franchise and our TP5 and TP5x golf balls, when I think of the athletes we’ve got and how they use, perform and promote those products, it has a dramatic impact on our business.

In fact our first quarter was terrific for us, our business was up 42% globally...which is something we are very proud of. We’ll continue to keep our foot firmly on the gas."

On Tiger Woods...

"We’re very fortunate to have formed a direct relationship with Tiger. His history in the game of golf is undeniable, his contribution, what he’s done in his profession, his 14 major championships...we can go on and on.

Tiger came to us back in January 2017 which is where we started our affiliation with Tiger, and the real story with Tiger which is very interesting is when Nike left the equipment and ball business they had 25 contracted athletes playing Nike equipment and golf ball. 22 of those athletes came to TaylorMade directly after Nike left that business because of performance. Tiger was one of them.

So we’re thrilled to have Tiger in our portfolio of athletes, he’s one of many stories, and certainly one of the biggest stories.

When he plays, ratings go up. We’ve seen ratings go up 50-100% in event he’s played in this year, and we’re excited about having Tiger as part of our brand. "

On if Tiger's performance will equal sales...

"No question, we believe if Tiger plays well - or Jason, or Dustin, or Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy...athletes I think will be there on Sunday - it will translate into bigger business, and quite candidly it should...every golfer around the world regardless of skill level can benefit from the performance technology that TaylorMade brings to market for our athletes.