While it will no longer sell equipment, like clubs and bags, it will continue to sell golf apparel and footwear. Daric Ashford, the president of Nike Golf, said in a statement that golf pros like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie have kept the company’s garments popular. All three golfers have clothing lines with Nike.
“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” he said. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers.”
Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards said Nike will now focus on “investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
Nike Golf is the company’s worst performing division, according to Bloomberg. Sales were down 8.2 percent in the last year, totaling $706 million. It’s a number that’s fallen for three years straight.
It’s more bad news for a sport has had trouble attracting players in recent years, and is already dealing with participation issues at the Olympics this year thanks to Zika concerns.
But Nike’s move to apparel may also be indicative of the company’s general success with its clothing lines. Consider what it did with just one tennis dress.
Nike certainly understands the weight of its brand. Earlier this year we talked to Nike cofounder and chairman Phil Knight about the worth of the company’s iconic swoosh: