Former TaylorMade CEO Mark King Weighs In on Sale

May 6, 2016
Mark King Adidas.jpg

These are challenging days for the golf equipment business — at least according to former TaylorMade CEO Mark King.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, King, who headed the company from 2003-14 before taking over as CEO of Adidas USA, said that the decision to sell the golf equipment branch of the company was made in an effort to focus on the biggest growth opportunities for the company as a whole.

“The biggest growth opportunities are in running, training, basketball, and we have a lot of runway in those,” King told Yahoo. “As opposed to being in something that is harder to focus on.”

As in, selling golf equipment. After suffering falling sales in the last seven of eight quarters, Adidas finally made the decision to sell the TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth brands on May 4. TaylorMade-Adidas was the only downside to the company’s first-quarter earning reports. The company will hold on to Adidas Golf — the golf apparel and shoe division — and will therefore likely retain athlete endorsements like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.

While a new buyer has yet to present itself, King remains optimistic that Adidas will find a way to make the golf equipment business viable again.

“[Golf] needs to change some of the entry points to the game to attract new consumers,” King told Yahoo. “And I think golf will find a way to do that, whether that takes five years or 10 years.”