Acushnet prefers to focus on golf balls

By: March 11, 2010

Recently I came across with the news that Acushnet (the golf business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO)) the owner of Titleist, Footjoy golf mega-brands is likely to sell its golf club brand Cobra Golf to the German PUMA AG. Puma AG, is relatively new in the golf equipment industry. Puma entered the golf market in 2006, offering golfers technical performance gear that helped players look better, feel better and play better on and off the course. Today, Puma Golf athletes include newcomer Rickie Fowler, Geoff Ogilvy, Johan Edfors, Jeff Overton and Anna Nordqvist.

Two things are clear from this Puma AG wants to enter to the golf equipment market without investing in developing a brand new golf club brand and technology. So he makes a classic management step acquires an existing brand, technology and with the acquisition also a market share. This is how Adidas Golf was created in 1998 by the acquisition of TaylorMade. Last year Adidas Golf made further acquistions in the apparel segment. The other reason behind the sale of Cobra Golf is the not so rosy sales results. Thus at Acushnet decided to focus on their core competences golf balls and golf shoes.

Both sides are still waiting for regulatory approval. Puma Golf will also gain quite strong social media presence as well. Although it might not part of the balance sheet, but personally I consider it as part of the brand equity (IAS 38 is the relevant to this issue). Since what people find about your brand will influence the attitudes and associations toward the brand.

Currently Cobra Golf, has: a blog is more likely a brand site and not a blog); 2 Twitter accounts with significant number of followers ((cobratour (2,028); cobragolf (3323)) and a less successful Facebook brand page.