The sale of Cobra from Acushnet to Puma that was announced Wednesday is one of those cases that sends folks in the golf industry full circle as it did with Canadians such as Ted Fletcher and Bob Cote, who will once again be handling a hard goods brand that they were involved with back in the 1990s.
Both have since landed with Puma, a brand that seems to be setting itself up in a similar business model as other hard goods/shoes/apparel companies such as Nike and TaylorMade-adidas.
The fact that it has young, vibrant tour players such as Rickie Fowler and Camilo Villegas, winner of last week’s Honda Classic, representing its products doesn’t hurt matters either, both now and in the future, as Puma develops its new diversified company.
“Through the acquisition of Cobra Golf, we reinforce Puma’s commitment to our sports performance business by strengthening our growing and successful golf category,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman and chief executive of Puma.
“Cobra Golf has a history of innovative performance products fused with an edge and is, therefore, a perfect fit for Puma, reinforcing our overall mission of becoming the most desirable sport-lifestyle company,” he added.
“With Cobra Golf, Puma will capitalize on the many opportunities in the golf category and upside potential ahead of us,” said Zeitz.
Put the emphasis on edge in Zeitz’s statement when considering the plan ahead for Cobra under the Puma umbrella. The deal will likely close in the second quarter of this year and Acushnet will offer services to smooth out the transition from an industry perspective. See the News Now story for more details.
Meanwhile, as Wally Uihlein, chairman and chief executive officer for Acushnet, pointed out, the deal allows that company to streamline and concentrate on its core brands, Titleist and FootJoy.
This deal is all about two companies in different situations with philosophies that are opposite from one another, Acushnet streamlining and concentrating on its brands that are renowned in golf and Puma going for diversification and an edgy appeal as it takes its next step in the golf industry.
You have to wonder if golf balls is the next category that Puma may explore.