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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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  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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Tour News

Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report: DJ testing driver shafts, Xander’s new irons

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It’s always a big week at Riviera, but from a tour truck standpoint, it was actually pretty mellow. Some testing here and there with the big news being DJ testing a bunch of driver shafts. Anytime a world No. 1 does anything to his setup, it’s always news.

Titleist

Brian Harman switched into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X  in his TSi2 (9 degrees). 

Lanto Griffin went from TSi2 (10 degrees) driver to TSi3 driver (10 degrees). His shaft of choice is the Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5 TX.

Aaron Dill AKA @vokeywedgerep

Lots of fresh grooves this week (staffers)

Cam Davis 60T

Jordan Spieth 60T

Matt Jones 60-12D

Adam Scott 60-12D @10 (new)

Robert Streb 60-04L

“Adam Scott is making changes to his 60-12D. Mentioned with firmer conditions, he wanted to feel less forward bounce on his lob wedge.  Took his 60-12D and reduced forward bounce and camber down two degrees.  This allowed the face to get closer to the ground and move his strike a little higher up the face in increasing his launch slightly.”

Ping

Scott Harrington put a new G425 LST 3-wood (14.5 degrees) in the bag this week. It’s equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft.

Kevin Streelman (non-staffer) added a bit of loft to his G425 LST (9 degrees). Streelman still has the five-plus-year-old Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 70 TX.

TaylorMade

Collin Morikawa tested irons with TaylorMade rep Adrian Rietveld working back into a combo set he has preferred in the past. The current combo this week with TaylorMade’s P7MC (4-6) into P730 (7-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Collin Morikawa WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited  70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium “Rocket” (14 degrees @ 13.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited D+ 80 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F) TaylorMade Hi Toe2 (60-07LB)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade FCG

Ball: TP5 21

Rather monumental potential iron shaft switch for Rory McIlroy: @trottiegolf shared a truck ticket with an order for a new set of P7MB’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7’s. We will see if they go in play.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Dustin Johnson was doing some serious shaft testing this week and was spotted with a LAGP Proto “Made for DJ” prototype. Johnson is currently trying to find a shaft that would complement the SIM2/Max head. This particular prototype has a VERY stable tip, which complements DJ’s desire to never miss it left.

LAG DJ Proto 2 of 2 (LAG made two trotos to test). The shaft is 73 grams, which is a bit heavier than his normal gamer.

If it goes in this week, we will get more info. Stay tuned.

Callaway

Xander Schauffele put a new set of “Raw” TCB irons in play (4-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130X shafts. Xander was also testing a Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X and Mavrik 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X. He will also most likely have his Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3-iron in play this week at Riviera.

Kevin Na tested an Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX shaft.

Francesco Molinari tested an Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X and an Epic Speed 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X. 

Marc Leishman was also testing Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9) with a Fujikura Speeder EVO IV 757 TX.

ScottEG/KBS

Luke List had a new set of PXG 0311 ST irons built up with KBS Tour V 125 S+ shafts.

Bryson Dechambeau made some loft adjustments to his SIK Proto putter. BAD was looking to add a bit of loft to get the ball on top of the grass a bit better heading into the Florida swing.

Free agents/miscellaneous

Charl Schwartzel was testing Mitsubishi Chemical’s new Kai’li Blue 70 TX and 80 TX shafts in his TaylorMade SIM2 3- and 5-woods.

Harold Varner III tested a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11.5) with a Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 7 X shaft.

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Interesting photos from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (plus links to all galleries)

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A tour event at one of the world’s most recognizable golf course—what more could you ask for?

This week, the PGA Tour is at Pebble Beach (without the amateurs) and we were on-site to spy some interesting things from the grounds.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Duval is back!

David Duval is in the field this week and it looks like he has a bag full of Titleist gear including the popular T100 irons.

We spotted some classics

After finding a trusted 3-wood, some of the hardest clubs to replace are hybrids, and based on the age of both of the clubs above, we also don’t imagine them being changed now until they break.

Top – Nike VR Pro hybrid with Matrix Ozik Altus shaft
Bottom – Adams Idea Pro Gold “boxer” square hybrid

Daly has the full spectrum covered

John Daly is by every account a complete feel player, so it should be no surprise to see him using such a precise flatstick—a Scotty Cameron Circle T Napa blade. On the other side of things, everyone likes a little extra distance, and he is also using TaylorMade 770s

An early contender for fairway shaft of the year?

There must be something to the Fujkura Ventus red and its performance in fairway woods because each week we continue to spot more and more showing up in players’ bags – and this week is no exception.

So much shade

Hunter Mahan’s sunglasses have me asking only one question “How fast was I going, officer?”

Ping is bringing the heat with its hats

Ping is generally subdued when it comes to their marketing, but Michael Thompson’s very forward G425 hats sure make a statement.

Luke Donald rocking Jumpman

Luke Donald has a long-standing relationship with MJ (you know you’re a big name when you just need your initials) and this week at Pebble, Luke has some fresh kicks to keep his feet comfy around the hilly Pebble terrain.

Callaway TCB growing in popularity

The Callaway Apex TCB irons (currently a Europe-only release) are growing in popularity on tour, just as fast as the new X-Forged and Apex Pro. Could these become the next Callaway clubs to see a limited release like the Triple Diamond driver?

Fastest growing irons on tour?

When it comes to new irons, the Srixon ZX7 are hot! Srixon hasn’t had an iron picked up this fast on tour since the release of the original Z745, and based on a recent win by a non-staffer, they’re not slowing down anytime soon.

Cink sticking with Accra

The club builder-focused shaft brand has been a mainstay in Cink’s bag for quite a while now and considering he is using a G410, it’s probably not going anywhere.

Epic caddie duster

I bet you could clean the grooves of a dirty wedge with that thing!

Ryan Moore: Someone call the hoodie police

Ryan’s is once again a free agent, and the new Srixon hybrid must be serving him well, plus I like the hoodie (if you don’t, quit being such a curmudgeon). He was also spotted using an Axis 1 putter (below).

Power up, Super Mario-style

Great socks! I’d recognize that little mustachioed plumber anywhere.

I spy a Deadhead

See all our photos from Pebble Beach below

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Interesting photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open (plus links to all WMPO galleries)

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The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most popular events on tour, and this week we were on and off-site capturing images from both the Monday Qualifier and from the Tuesday practice rounds at TPC Scottsdale.

Considering how many professional golfers live in the Scottsdale area, as well as Ping and PXG headquartered nearby, it has a major “home town” event vibe for many of the pros and these are the most interesting images we saw from Tuesday.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

New 2021 Titleist tour staff bag

Titleist recently updated its carry bags for 2021, and it appears that the company has also quietly updated tour staff bags too.

Rahm loves to mess with setup

A quick count shows that John Rahm has 14 clubs in his bag—before you count anything with a headcover. This is not unusual for Rahm since he often changes clubs based on course conditions, I just feel for his caddie.

Erik van Rooyen is looking sharp

Lookout Adam Scott and Rafa Cabrera Bello, Erik looks to quickly be moving towards gaining the title of the best-dressed golfer on tour.

Link Soul carry bag

Although it has become a bit more popular recently, lighter weight stand bags are still not that common on the PGA Tour, and to see such a minimalist bag is even rarer – this player must really like his caddy.

Jason Day’s WITB

Equipment free-agents always has the most interesting golf bag setups and Jason Day certainly has a mixed bag of gear.

Zach Johnson’s camo PXG bag

PXG embraces camo prints any chance it can, and Zack Johnson’s camo bag is one of the most unique on tour.

db_straitvibin, aka Daniel Berger, still kicking it old school (plus a new driver)

Daniel Berger continues to play the 2011 TaylorMade TP MC forged irons, and it’s a delight to see these gems continue to rake in money on tour.

Be a bulldog

It’s usually Ping bags that we spot with custom university colourways, but this TaylorMade Georgia Bulldogs bag is looking sharp in the land of the Sun Devils.

It’s still “putt for dough”

The putting green is always full of interesting contraptions, and this week we spotted a number of things from a BGT Stability shaft, to a bungee cord, and an alignment stick.

We also saw a cool new training aid, which appears to be a tempo training device.

See all our photos from TPC Scottsdale below.

General galleries

Special galleries

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