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Adidas sells TaylorMade to KPS Capital Partners for $425 million

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Adidas has sold its golf brands TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth to New York City-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners for $425 million. The athletic-apparel giant had been actively seeking a buyer for its golf brands since this time May 2016.

The news was announced in a press release, which stated that the sale will be “half … paid in cash with the remainder in a combination of secured note and contingent considerations.” Completion of the transaction is expected later this year.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new era for TaylorMade, and our entire management team is excited to partner with KPS in this next phase of our growth and continued development of our brands, business and people,” said David Abeles, Chief Executive Officer of TaylorMade. “The TaylorMade team is deeply committed to making the most technically advanced performance-driven golf equipment, and this mission will never change. Given their strategic vision, operational resources and significant access to capital, KPS is the ideal partner to help TaylorMade build upon its strong momentum.”

KPS is a private equity firm headquartered in New York City. The company says it “generates investment returns by structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies, rather than primarily relying on financial leverage.” It currently manages a family of investment funds worth approximately $5.3 billion. 

TaylorMade’s annual sales reached a peak of $1.7 billion in 2013, but the sales have slumped in recent years. An article published by the New York Post in February stated that TaylorMade annual sales had slipped to less than $500 million and that the Carlsbad California-based company was losing between $75-100 million each year.

“TaylorMade is one of the preeminent golf equipment brands worldwide, with leading-edge products that consistently provide consumers a distinct performance advantage over the competition,” said David Shapiro, a Managing Partner of KPS. “We look forward to working with Chief Executive Officer David Abeles, his management team and all TaylorMade employees around the world to build on this great platform by driving growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions. The combination of this iconic brand and KPS’ track record of working constructively with talented management teams to make businesses better will provide the ideal foundation for TaylorMade’s future growth.”

While TaylorMade’s sales have slowed, its presence on the PGA Tour has not. Yesterday, the company announced that it had signed Rory McIlroy to deal to use its golf clubs and golf ball. It now has endorsement deals with the top-3 golfers in the world: Dustin Johnson (No. 1), McIlroy (No. 2) and Jason Day (No. 3).

In January, TaylorMade also signed 14-time major champion Tiger Woods to an endorsement deal. The company also has a deal with one of the hottest young golfers on the PGA Tour, 22-year-old John Rahm.

Adidas said last year that it planned to continue to produce golf shoes and apparel even after the sale of TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth, and the press release mentioned no change in Adidas’ strategy.

Related: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about TaylorMade’s sale in our forum. 

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28 Comments

  1. Darryl

    May 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

    TM signed Rory to deny Callaway the chance, if they hadn’t made an offer at least matching Callaways, he would have just signed for Callaway for the money and quietly put a disguised M2 in the bag, this way they get to shout it from the rooftops and damage Callaway all in one.

    Rory shifting to the M2 will badly damage the sales of the Epic. If DJ, JD and Rory are all using one driver it will sell like free intercourse.

    Callaway thought having Henrik and the prospect of Rory on the books would make the Epic a slam dunk best seller, but with Henrik off the boil (and still using his 3 wood a lot) and Rory deciding the TM product is better. That can’t be good for Callaway, so much so that I notice their Epic ad says that its the best selling driver of 2017 but has a very big visible disclaimer at the bottom saying “based on results from Jan – Mar 2017” so they clearly don’t think the Q2 numbers are going to be so good.

    What TM have wasted money on is signing Tiger. He’s unlikely to play a major role in tournament golf again, so new young players wont know him any better than I knew Hogan or Snead, a once great player, now just a name in the record books. With Nike not making equipment any more, the Tiger fanboys that insist on playing whatever their hero plays would have to switch anyway and that number will drop year on year with him out of the game anyway.

    Is this the final cycle of big money deals as golf settles into a post Tiger era? It’s unlikely any of the new crop of superstars will dominate as he did, so is it worth tying them down to 10 year $100M+ deals? 4 years ago everyone thought Rory was the heir apparent and would challenge the Major tallys of both Woods and Nicklaus, not so. 2 years ago everyone thought Speith was the T-Rex and would rule for a thousand years, not so. 18 months ago it was Jason Day, 12 Months ago DJ, 6 months ago Justin Thomas. But they all look like they will settle into a nice routine of 6 months each at the top and then a rest. That isn’t worth $10m a year.

  2. Don Greco

    May 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Love the press release; makes it sound like the world’s greatest golf manufacturing company….just pay no attention that is was sold at a firesale price. There are only so many golfers out there…..it’s a niche game, always will be. Mass marketing just not a good fit for the golf industry. ….there aren’t enough players who need new gear as frequently as the manufacturers had hoped. Every “grow the game” article in any golf magazine is really a marketing pitch for new customers.

  3. munchies

    May 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Three steps to black – 1. stop paying ridiculous endorsement fees to tour players, drop few of them 2. cut off management 3. stop dropping bucket loads in marketing, focus in quality offering…

  4. David Ables

    May 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Peace out guys. I’m off to run Adidas South America. Just like Mark King flooded the golf market then got a promo with Adi NA!

  5. M-Herd4

    May 11, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Why would a struggling company like TM sign Rory to a $100M contract when the entire company itself is only valued at $425M?? They already have a stable of elite players that haven’t helped their financial health significantly…

    • Forsbrand

      May 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Could Rory himself along with Tiger be part of the investment?

    • munchies

      May 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I know unbelievable. Wouldn’t there be a point of diminishing returns? You have DJ and Tiger on the book already, would adding Rory will increase the club sales proportionally? I would venture to say no..

    • Tom1

      May 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

      100 mil, I searched and couldn’t find that info….?

  6. rebfan73

    May 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Or WWE….

  7. Mat

    May 11, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Here’s to hoping they break the release cycle madness. It is good IP, but the lack of price strength hurts the premium margins. And back off the damn lofts. 🙂

  8. Craig

    May 11, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Good to see the keyboard warriors at it again. A quick bit of research on the JPS website will actually show they have a history of INVESTING in companies by improving and streamlining supply chain and manufacturing and growing their investments . Could mean Taylormade might actually improve on delivery and custom build times!!! Time will tell

  9. Simms

    May 10, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Darn, I was hoping Ashworth would buy back his name and we could have some descent fitting quality golf shirts again…..

    • MMM

      May 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

      You should look at LinkSoul……that’s the company John Ashworth started after he got bought out.

  10. alan

    May 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    as long as my next taylormade driver is 14 yards longer than the one i bought 6 months ago i dont care who owns taylormade.

  11. toyzrx

    May 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Nothing in economy suggests that investment into golf anything is money well spent. I see more layoffs and budget tightening coming to TM. I was hoping TM be bought by another big sport OEM, or merge with Callaway or Titleist.

  12. jc

    May 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    now they will have to come out with a new driver every 4 months instead of every 6 months. And it will go 5 yards father of course.

  13. Scott

    May 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Yawn

  14. IH

    May 10, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I thought the amount would be biggerer lol

  15. Adrien Jenot

    May 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I bet they stop making new clubs every year now… (structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies) I for one am glad the golf market is going back to reality. It reminds me of a recent crash lol

  16. golfraven

    May 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Does Rory need to worry about his next paycheque? Doubtful!

  17. Jeb Springfield

    May 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Fairly sure if you use he “word” “prolly,” you’re not clearing $25M.

    • NolanMBA

      May 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      That Facebook creator wears hoodies to board meetings…

  18. Orvill

    May 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Heck…. I wuldn’ta paid more than $375 Mill for TM….. and then sold it off in chunks ….. drivers… irons… putters… balls… bags… and prolly cleared $400 Mill with $25 Mill profit …. and then flipped off Ashworth and Adams ….!!

  19. Joe

    May 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    No luck involved, the signing of Rory was most likely part of whatever deal they came to. Once a Private Equity firm takes hold it’s all down hill……

  20. TCJ

    May 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    First!

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New troops: PXG announces additions to tour staff for 2021

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Earlier this week, it was the Brooklyn Nets making big news in the NBA with player acquisitions. Now in the golf world, it’s PXG, who is also adding to its roster with a number of new players on both the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.

The newest members of the PXG roster, which they like to call “troops” are

  • Jim Herman
  • Sung Kang
  • Danny Lee
  • Luke List
  • Henrik Norlander
  • Adam Schenk
  • Kyle Stanley
  • Hudson Swafford

Speaking to the switch, Sung Kang said

“PXG makes some of the best performing equipment in golf. I know, with the support of Bob Parsons, his team, and PXG clubs, that I am going to be able to take my game to the next level!”

The professionals from the Korn Ferry Tour joining current PXG staffers Scott Langley and Grant Hirschman include

  • Kevin Dougherty
  • Nicolas Echavarria
  • KK Limbhaust
  • Justin Lower
  • Seth Reeves
  • Charlie Saxon

“Between grit and their love of the game, every one of these new players brings something special to the course. We are proud to welcome them all to the PXG Troops and honored that they have chosen to put PXG in play.” -PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons.

These players join a long list of PXG staff players, which also includes LPGA Tour players Lydia Ko, Katherine Kirk, Austin Ernst, Christia Kim, Brittany Lang, Haley Moore, Celine Boutie, Ryann O’Toole, Gerina Piller, Jennifer Song, Linnea Ström, and Mina Harigae.

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Sony Open Tour Truck Report: CH3 newest Ventus Black convert, free agent testing, and Srixon has two new staffers

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With no tour trucks on site until the West Coast Swing begins next week, we had to scrape and claw for every morsel of information for this week’s report. And with the time difference in Hawaii, we may get more info this evening and will update accordingly.

That said, let’s dig into this week’s Tour Truck Report.

Titleist

Charles Howell III put a new Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X in his Titleist TSi3. He was also testing new 4-irons to find a recipe that gapped a bit better with his Ping G410 7-wood and Titleist T100 5-iron.

TaylorMade

Lots of players staff and non-staff players going into SIM2.

Staff

  • Nick Taylor: SIM2 w/ Fujikura Atmos Blue 6 X

Non Staff:

  • DJ Trahan: SIM2
  • Danny Lee: SIM2
  • XJ Zhang: SIM2

Non Staff Testing

  • SIM2/SIM2 Max: Jim Herman, Luke List, Henrik Norlander, James Hahn, Sung Kang, Kyle Stanley, Hudson Swafford

Collin Morikawa has the new TP5 Prototype ball in play and Sergio Garcia is in the new TP5X Proto.

Callaway

Jim Furyk went to a long stick with a 47-inch (tipped 3/4) Callaway Epic Proto Driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X.

Will Gordon is also in the new Callaway Epic Proto (9 degrees) with a Ventus Black 6 X and was seeing ball speeds reach 190 mph.

Callaway announced the signing of Tyler McCumber who will be in a full bag of Callaway gear in 2021. We will update on what landed in the bag ASAP.

Si Woo Kim switching to a prototype Odyssey OG Putter

Srixon

Keegan Bradley added the new Srixon ZX7 irons (4-PW) replacing his trust Z745’s. The new irons come equipped with Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Srixon also added two new staff members for 2021 PGA Tour veteran KJ Choi and 27 year old Matt Neismith.

Matt Neismith WITB

ZX7 Driver 9.5: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

ZX Utility 18: Fujikura Atmos Blue Hybrid 85 X

Z-FORGED (4-PW): Nippon Modus 125 X

Wedges RTX Zip Core (50, 54, 58): KBS 610 Wedge 115g

K.J Choi WITB

ZX7 Driver 9.5

ZX7 (5-PW)

Wedges RTX Zip Core (50, 54, 58) w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Free Agents

Not in the field at Sony, but two notable free agents Ryan Moore and Jason Day are in the midst of building new bags. Nothing is secure by any stretch but see below for what we heard they have been testing thus far.

Jason Day

Ping G425 LST Driver, Mizuno JPX921 Tour irons

Ryan Moore

TaylorMade SIM2, Titleist TSi2 and 3 fairways, Mizuno irons (multiple), Vokey Wedges

Also…

Vijay Singh put in a brand new Callaway Epic Proto driver at 46.5 inches with a Fujikura Atmos Black 5 TX shaft.

In regards to players who have signed with new companies, here is the list

PXG

  • Sung Kang
  • Jim Herman

Srixon

  • Matt Neismith
  • KJ Choi

Titleist 

  • Joseph Bramlett
  • Fabian Gomez
  • Nelson Ledesma
  • Troy Merritt
  • Sam Saunders

Callaway 

  • Jon Rahm
  • Tyler McCumber

TaylorMade 

  • Tommy Fleetwood

Ping

  • None
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Sentry TOC Tour Truck Report: New sticks, new companies, and Patrick Reed buys his own threads

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Happy 2021! The PGA Tour is at Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and with the electricity around the Rahm Callaway signing and new TaylorMade gear hitting the streets, there is a ton to track.

Here is a list of who had new gear in the bag to kick off the year.

Titleist

Justin Thomas finally put the new Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) into the bag fully equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X. The Ventus Red is gaining popularity little by little with Adam Scott and now Thomas switching into it. The new set up saw JT keeping his launch constant from the old TS3 set up all while going from 176 to 179mph ball speed and dropping spin from 2300 to 2100.

Richie Wereksnki also added a Ventus Red 6 X to his yet-unreleased Titleist TSi4 (10 degrees @9.25, D1 SureFit)

Lanto Griffin joined the long driver crowd with a fresh new TSi2 (9 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 6.5 @46 inches.

Adam Scott made some fairway wood switches adding a 15-degree TSi2 3-wood with an old-school Fujikura P95 and a TSi2 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 10 TX.

TaylorMade

Dustin Johnson tested the new SIM2 and SIM2 Max heads in 9 and 10.5 degrees. The world No. 1 tried both heads with his trusted Speeder 661 Evolution and a Ventus Black 6 X. DJ will also put the SIM2Max HL (16.5) 3-wood in play with a Fujikura Ventus Black 9 X.

Collin Morikawa tested SIM2 (10.5) and SIM2 Max (9). Word is on course he was going back and forth between the SIM2 (10.5 degrees @9) and his current gamer SIM (8 degrees @8.5) both with the MCA Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX. Morikawa also has a new Spider FCG putter in the satchel as well as the new Sim2 3-Wood ([email protected]) with an MCA Diamana D+ Limited 80TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched into the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green (Hulk) 70 G 6.5 TX.

Michael Thompson is now in the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6X.

Joaquin Niemann also added the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 TX.

Tony Finau added swing weight to his entire set over the winter. The reason was to reduce a left miss, and after some tweaking, he ended up adding two to three swing weights across the board. The irons went from D3 to D5+ (D5.5).

Mackenzie Hughes put the new Ping G425 Max (9) in play with a Project X Hzurdus T1100 60G 6.5.

Callaway

Jon Rahm showed up with a whole bag of new Callaway gear

Driver: Callaway Proto Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

4-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (16.5)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI (Black) 8 X

Irons: Callaway UT Proto (3), Callaway Apex Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

  • TBD on UT or 5 Wood

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Forged JPN (52-8, 56-12, 60-10)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Marc Leishman added a prototype Odyssey putter to his bag. The putter has an OG White Hot insert, and sources tell me Leishman loved the feel of the face straight away.

Xander Schauffele put a new Callaway Triple Diamond Prototype driver in play. The 9-degree (@8) head is loaded with his usual Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7X (custom black finish) shaft. Xander, like Rahm, also has the new Apex Prototype irons in play with Nippon Pro Modus3 130 X. The irons are rumored to have less offset, thinner top line, shorter blade length, and no Flash Face Cup.

Srixon

Hideki Matsuyama swapped shafts in his Srixon ZX5 driver (9.5 degrees) from a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 TX into a Graphite Design Tour AD MD 8X XX (that’s right). The prototype shaft is a modified XC with a soft butt section and a very stiff tip.

Free Agents

On the fashion front, Patrick Reed who parted ways with Nike at the end of 2020, showed up in head-to-toe G/Fore apparel. The coolest part about the story is that Reed was such a fan of the brand that instead of signing a deal or expecting it for free, the 2018 Masters Champion went online and put all of his gear on the old AmEx like everyone else. According to my source, he’s loved G/Fore clothing for a long time and insisted that he get it like everyone else. Well done, PR.

This is what a representative from Team G/Fore had to say

“We are happy anytime we hear someone is enjoying our products and though Patrick is not on our roster for 2021, we are glad to learn he enjoys our gear!”

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