It was just over three years ago that PGA star, Tiger Woods, appeared on tour covered in Nike attire. Nike’s swoosh could be found on his cap, clothes, and shoes. Yet, Nike didn’t want to stop their product line at clothing, and they proceeded to launch golf balls, golf bags, and all components of golf that a golfer would need.
This recent push from Nike was triggered last year when Tiger Woods switched to the Tour Accuracy golf ball. He continued to produce a record-setting summer of three straight major championships.
Nike has recently launched their next big development: golf clubs. David Duval, at the Phoenix Open two months ago, became the first touring pro to use the Nike Golf irons.
In Nike’s attempt to broaden their product line, they would love for their five-year, $100 million investment, Tiger Woods, to play with their equipment as well. Nike Golf president Bob Wood said, “If we can make something that he thinks is right and helps him get better, he'll switch.” Reasoning, “If we can't, or he likes what he's doing, he won't switch right now. It's a slow process.”
While Nike would love to switch Tiger to its line of clubs, Nike has recently focused their attention to the progress of David Duval.
Under heavy contract arguments with Titleist still, Duval has made his full switch to Nike Golf. Duval is currently on his second set of the Nike blades. Designed by Tom Stites in Nike’s recently acquired Impact Technologies company, Duval works with Stites to create the perfect feel for each club.
“There's a fair amount of work going back and forth on it, trying to relay what I want,” Duval said. “It's neat to have that much input on your equipment. I think it's going to be a great success. When the product is put in front of the public, the brand might arouse the interest, but I think the quality of the product is what's going to keep them.”
For Nike Golf president, Bob Wood: achieving his goal of a leading golf company will only take time, and he realizes that a healthy mix clothing and equipment is needed to succeed.
“To be a great golf brand, you have to exist in the emotional epicenter, what people care about. And that's equipment,” Wood said. “People who enjoy golf talk about equipment -- what irons you just bought, what balls you play. You don't talk about the shoes you wear or the apparel. The emotional core is equipment.”
Thier goal is set. Can Nike Golf become number one like their star has done?