This was a quiet week for the equipment industry, but Bag Drop has a few equipment/business related headlines that I think are interesting to say the least.
So join me as we check out the purchase of Ashworth, the end of yet another LPGA sponsorship deal, and some free stuff you can get.
TaylorMade-Adidas to Acquire Ashworth
Perhaps one of the most venerable names in the golf apparel industry, Ashworth, has agreed to be purchased by the folks at TaylorMade-adidas for some cash and the assumption of debt. Ashworth has been around for over 20 years and it least for me, when I thought of golf apparel, they were the big guys on the block.
Times change and Ashworth didn't seem to move as quickly as some of the other apparel companies out there. This will be an interesting story to follow as to see if the brand can survive. Seems others wonder that as well.
Sponsors Running for the Hills
Unless you've been under a very large rock lately, the economy isn't doing quite so hot at the moment and large companies are re-evaluating the cash outflows associated with sponsoring golf tournaments. While the PGA Tour seems to be holding steady, the LPGA TOur is getting decimated with the number of sponsors who have left this past season.
Now the end-of-the-year, signature, big-money event - the ADT Championship - will no longer have ADT as a sponsor after 2008. Safeway (gone), Ginn (gone), Fields (gone), SemGroup (bankrupt) and now ADT is an alarming trend and one has to wonder just what is going on over at LPGA HQ. With the number of good, up-and-coming players, the LPGA Tour has a good future ahead of itself but one wonders if Commissioner Bivens will be around to see it. Or that matter, you and I at this rate. Let's hope they can get this fixed.
Hot List, Baby!
The Golf Digest Hot List Summit is taking place right now and Bomb and Gouge have a daily blog running about some of the latest and greatest equipment that is coming out. Besides bagging on the long putter (which should be banned), they provide some some sneak peaks of new equipment coming out as well as discuss why driver companies can "sell straight," the growth in the "chippers" category, and bashing some internet postings questioning whether they had more bias towards equipment companies that advertise in Golf Digest. All in all, a good read and should whet your appetite for the February issue.
I Love Free Stuff
Simple, buy a driver, get a free fairway wood (while supplies last, of course). If you've never checked out how crazy-long these clubs are, now is a very good time to do so.
Buy a Yes! putter and get a free embroidered Yes! towel.
The weather has finally put the final nail into my 2008 golf season coffin as we can't break 40 degrees. I even went south to Nebraska for a work trip and the weather is the same. I'm afraid the next six months I'll have to either use a golf dome or try out the latest and greatest at a simulator, neither of which thrills me very much. So for those who can still get out there, I envy you. Just don't rub it in too much.