The upcoming PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 27-30, is expected to attract as many as 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors, according to the show's organizers, but industry heavyweights Nike Golf and TaylorMade-adidas will not be taking floor booths at the 2010 show.
Ed Several, the group vice president of PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions, which organizes the show, said that the number of exhibitors signing up to show their wares next month was down about 100, from 1,100 in the past year, 2009 itself a bad year reflecting the continuing recession.
"The good news is that we are getting great support from the major golf companies Titleist, Cleveland, Callaway, Wilson, Ping, Mizuno as well as the apparel people like Cutter & Buck, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Fairway & Greene," he said, adding that it was "a late-booking show" this year, with many companies making decisions at the last minute.
The decision by Nike Golf not to take floor space at the convention was made prior to Thanksgiving, said a Nike spokeswoman who is familiar with the process, and therefore, she emphasized, had nothing to do with that company's current problems involving Tiger Woods. Nike golf clubs are to be showcased at the convention's "demo day," Jan. 27, during which show attendees hit the newest clubs at an enormous circular driving range. Nike will also have a side room or meeting room at the convention center in which to meet clients.
TaylorMade-adidas will have no presence at the 2010 show. Both of the company's apparel brands, Adidas Golf and Ashworth, were represented (separately) at the show in 2009. "We fully expect to be back in the future," said Sandy Lane, a spokeswoman for Adidas Golf, in an e-mail. "But given the current market conditions, this is the most prudent course of action for both brands."
Christopher Heyn, a veteran apparel executive, has been named the chief executive officer of Summit Brands, the parent company of golf apparel makers Fairway & Greene, EP Pro and Zero Restriction.
Heyn was most recently managing director of DC Management Group and previously served as president of Nautica Sportswear and Nautica Apparel. He has also been senior vice president of global merchandising of the National Basketball Association and held executive positions with Salant Menswear Group, Hathaway and Christian Dior Sportwear.