WHAT: To mark the brand’s decision this week to no longer be in the golf equipment game (though it’s still making footwear and apparel for the links), here’s our top 5 Nike golf ads.
WHY WE CARE: The rise of Nike’s prominence within the sport of golf is a direct reflection of the career of its biggest spokesperson in the sport, Tiger Woods. And now that Tiger isn’t even sure he’ll be playing golf in 2016, the brand too is taking a major step back from the tee.
It’s not just Tiger; participation in golf is on a downward trend, thanks to, among other things, millennials’ lack of enthusiasm for swinging the sticks. Golf has been Nike’s worst performing category recently, with sales for its golf division down 8.2% to $706 million in the fiscal year ending in May.
But let’s look at the bright side for a few minutes. They may be hanging up the irons, but damn did Nike make some great golf ads. From Tiger playing keep-uppy with a golf ball to Rory McIlroy enjoying the chase, the brand has created some of the best commercials the sport ever saw over the last two decades. There may be no more balls, bags, or clubs with a swoosh, but thankfully, as long as it’s still outfitting stars like McIlroy in shoes and shirts, the brand’s run of great golf ads won’t be over.