Long a staple of the PGA Merchandise Show, TaylorMade Golf won't be on the floor at Orlando's Orange Country Convention Center in January 2019.
Golfweek first reported the company's decision to not present at the upcoming golf-business show, citing a memo sent from CEO David Abeles to the company's professional staffers.
“After conversations with TaylorMade Professional Staff members and key leaders within the golf industry, we will be investing into growth initiatives that we believe will create even greater value for the game of golf,” wrote CEO David Abeles to TaylorMade staff professionals. “As a result of our additional spend, we have decided not to attend the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.”
The goal, then, will be to reinvest the seven-figure cost involved with exhibiting at the PGA Merchandise Show into supporting staff professionals at the green-grass level. These investments could be part of a continuing, broader strategy to increase the company's professional staff. Local PGA and LPGA pros are often first-line influencers in equipment purchases, and they've long been instrumental to Titleist's market share.
It makes sense. For years, TaylorMade and other OEMs have announced new equipment and other news well ahead of the PGA Merchandise Show, rendering the trade show less valuable in that respect. TaylorMade did use the PGA Merchandise Show in 2017 to announce Tiger Woods was joining their staff.
Meanwhile, Reed Expo, the company behind the PGA Merchandise Show, announced two companies are returning to the convention. Bridgestone, which has been off the show floor since 2016, and Mizuno, who hasn't exhibited since 2005, will be a part of the show.
The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show begins Jan. 23 at the Orange County Convention Center, with the outdoor demo day scheduled for Jan. 22 at Orange County National Golf Club.