Tiger Woods is playing well again, and people are tuning into the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., to see if the golf icon can return to greatness. But the excitement surrounding Woods and his comeback will do nothing to boost the shoe category.
“Certainly ratings have improved since he’s come back, but the systemic issues from golf are really against this having any kind of positive impact [on shoe sales],” explained Matt Powell, The NPD Group Inc.’s senior industry adviser for sports.
The problem with golf today, according to Powell, is that its fans are older, and millenials don’t care about the sport.
“The game just doesn’t align itself with millennial values. It’s slow, it’s expensive, it’s not diverse, it’s not green, it has confusing rules,” Powell said. “The reasons millennials aren’t picking up the game like boomers did didn’t change because Woods is playing or not playing.”
Despite this, after a drop in sales in 2016, the golf footwear market has experienced a recent spike.
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According to data provided by The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, shoe sales dropped from $239.1 million in 2015 to $233.6 million in 2016, but jumped 8 percent to $251.9 million in 2017.
Since the start of the tournament, Woods has laced up the Nike Air Zoom TW71 golf shoe. The model is executed with a synthetic leather upper, a forefoot Zoom Air cushioning unit and a TPU plate for stability and durability.
Woods is tied for 29th today after shooting one-over-par with a round one score of 73.
With the start of the Masters today, Nike — Woods’ longtime sponsor — released a video, titled “Welcome Back,” to celebrate his return to the tournament and his past successes in Augusta.
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