Nike, Adidas ads target younger golfwear buyers

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Nike, leveraging its $40 million endorsement pact with Tiger Woods into Tiger-branded apparel, breaks a TV campaign for the line in late March.

The effort supports all of Nike golf but is timed to coincide with the spring debut.

The brand push deviates from the provocative tonality of Nike's first Tiger work. The four spots from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., spoof '50s-era golf instructional videos and won't use Nike's new "I can" tagline.


Teens and young adults are embracing golf, and Adidas and others are joining Nike--lining up hot new apparel colors, radically different media choices and advertising featuring cutting-edge golf stars such as Mr. Woods.

Adidas set up a satellite unit to take its brand into golf apparel last fall, and its first product is getting a print ad push featuring its young star, Ernie Els.

The ads from Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, were to begin hitting golf publications in February issues, out this month, and spoof sports trading cards.

An Adidas Golf spokeswoman said TV is probable for the apparel in the fall.

The branded golf line will get some TV exposure this spring in a new spot for Taylor Made Golf clubs that feature Mr. Els; Taylor Made is now owned by Adidas.

Bozell, Costa Mesa, Calif., handles Taylor Made.


Adidas' fall apparel is built around black and white, its best-selling color scheme. But Nike's Tiger-wear is peppered with funky-sounding colors, like "lunar blue" and "dijon."

Bright hues also are the hallmark of a number of other newcomers targeting younger duffers with styles daring by golf standards.

Subpar Golf is marketing its signature product as a "performance golf jersey."

The company hopes to begin advertising in untraditional publications for golf products, including Details and Thrasher, later this year.

"Young golfers don't want to be out there dressed like their dads, so we want to give them a brand they can rally around," said Brett Lovelady, president of Subpar, which handles advertising in-house.


Chipshot Golf's 1998 ads, created in-house, imagine a surreal vision of the sport and carry the tagline, "The soul of golf." The ads will run in Details and Vibe, along with golf enthusiast publications.

Subpar and Chipshot have gotten positive receptions from department stores, fashion boutiques and sports retailers--but not golf specialty or course shops.

"We're just so alien to that culture. We're too fast for them," said Vince Gonzales, VP-marketing at Chipshot.

Not too fast for the traditional golfer are a slew of fashion brands targeting the category.

Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren will exhibit for the first time at the PGA Merchandise Show this week in Orlando.

Hugo Boss has used golfers in ads before, but endorser Phil Mickelson is anchoring the new apparel line that will be supported with print ads in men's and golf magazines via Baron & Baron, New York.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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