Adidas is determined to make golf cool again. The sportswear brand has hired a new creative agency to market golf as a sport instead of a pastime, according to AdWeek.
"We are shifting to be more aligned with the Adidas brand and the idea that golf is a sport, and golfers are athletes," Melissa Ziegler, global brand marketing director for Adidas Golf, told AdWeek. The brand has previously marketed golf as a pastime.
The new strategy, which capitalizes on more Americans participating in exercise, will likely manifest itself in print and online advertisements.
Both the golf industry and Adidas are in trouble. Retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods have blamed declining sales on the weak golf industry. "Bringing in and retaining players below the age of 45 is more difficult than at any time in living memory," The Economist wrote last year. "Millennials in America expect, if not instant gratification, at least near-term rewards. Golf’s pay-offs can feel elusive."
Experts told The Economist that young people are playing video games instead of hitting the golf course. Adidas has seen market share erode to Nike and is in the process of a massive turnaround plan that includes redesigning sneakers and apparel.
Competitor Under Armour is profiting from a partnership with 19-year-old Masters champion Jordan Spieth. Like Adidas, Under Armour is treating golf as a sport.
This strategy helped the company attract Spieth, who has become a major celebrity in the sports world. Under Armour's approach appealed to Spieth because "he saw himself as an athlete. He's good in almost every sport he tries," reported ESPN's Darren Rovell.