King: Adams could play key role in evolving marketplace

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO Mark King

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO Mark King

Cranking up sales of Adams Golf products through TaylorMade's global distribution network is job No. 1 for John Ward, the newly appointed president of Adams.

That's the mission that was assigned to Ward by TaylorMade CEO Mark King. But in a recent interview, King also provided a glimpse of how the Adams brand might be positioned in the future and the role it could play in TaylorMade-Adidas' overall growth.

"When you get to where are with metalwood (market share) at 50 percent, more growth on top of that is going to be challenging," King said. "That's one reason why we bought Adams. We think we can grow metalwood share through Adams in a very fast way. Positioning Adams as a friendly brand for more golfers gives us a big, broad base to sell a lot more metalwoods."

King, however, envisions the investment made in Adams really will produce dividends as the industry's push to grow the game influences the evolution of the equipment marketplace.

"I really believe somewhere in the next 3 to 10 years, I think you're going to see a big opportunity for all golf equipment companies to make products for non-traditional golfers – for new people who are now playing 6-hole golf courses with 15-inch cups or things like that.

"I don't think the rules of golf will bifurcate," King said. "I think there'll be one set of rules, but I definitely think it will be acceptable to play golf in a non-traditional way – and we want to be (in that arena) first. I think everyone will be there, but we'll be there first in a big way and a fun way, probably leading with the Adams brand.

"We're certainly not going to lose Adams' connection to the Tour, but we see it as a more friendly brand – easy to hit, maybe not just in terms of more distance, but (getting the ball) up in the air.

"Everybody's talking about bunny slopes for golf. Well, as soon as we get new people in, there will be new equipment opportunities. That's the real next growth."

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