The German sporting goods giant adidas has finally ended more than a year of speculation by selling their famed TaylorMade brand of golf equipment to a New York-based private equity firm, KPS.
As part of the deal, adidas also sold Adams Golf and the golf apparel company Ashworth to KPS which manages $5.3 billion in assets.
The sale came just one day after Rory McIlroy, currently down to the World No 6 after struggling through 2017 with a nagging rib injury but a man who many rate as being golf's most naturally talented professional, signed a $100 million deal with TaylorMade to use their clubs, balls and golf bag for the next 10 years.
The Germans will now go back to focusing on their golf footwear and apparel divisions while KPS Capital gets the chance to strengthen a high profile equipment brand that had $294 million in first-quarter net sales this year driven mainly by products like their M1 metal woods, their M2 irons and TP5 golf balls.
McIlroy will strengthen even further TaylorMade's position as the sport's most visible golf equipment sponsor, joining as he does the World No 1 Dustin Johnson, former World No 1 Jason Day, Masters champion Sergio Garcia, reigning Olympic champion Justin Rose and 2017's most likely World rookie of the year Jon Rahm, who, since the beginning of the year, has rocketed from No 137th to 5th in the World rankings.
McIlroy, who, it is understood, will continue to endorse Nike apparel, previously played with Nike clubs until the US sports goods giant decided to discontinue marketing golf clubs and associated equipment.
It should be noted that Nike's exit from golf equipment has also seen Tiger Woods, who has been sidelined by injury for most of 2017, quietly sign up to use TaylorMade Clubs and equipment - if and when he manages to make a successful return to top-level golf.
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