The human side of Brad Fritsch is what makes him one of the more likeable guys on any tour. A keen observer of what’s happening in the game, Fritsch reacted with a tweet after Wednesday’s announcement that Nike Golf was getting out of clubs, golf balls and bags, but sticking with apparel and footwear.
I know nothing about Nike golf but I know a few reps out on both Tours and I hope they quickly land on their feet. Good luck, fellas.”
Fritsch’s comment stood out as I sifted through the aftermath of the Nike announcement, most of which was mindless media speculation about which company’s clubs Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be playing in the future instead of the Swoosh.
In their own odd way, asking such questions that couldn’t possibly be answered just hours after such a mega-announcement somehow makes them think they’re in the know on such matters.
It’s not unlike earlier this season when speculation swirled about when Tiger would be returning to action. Despite Woods insisting that he didn’t know, the stories and the tweets on the subject kept coming.
Well, guess what?
We still don’t know.
We won’t know about which former Nike club/ball user will play what clubs in the future for quite some time either until this all gets sorted out. After all, we’re talking some serious coin here.
The only thing we can say for sure is that they’ll land with somebody, but such isn’t necessarily the case for the people with considerably less profile who will find themselves on the unemployment line.
In those cases, we’re not talking the kind of compensation Woods, McIlroy, Michelle Wie or any other player who once had the Swoosh on their clubs or golf balls will be demanding.
While the Nike announcement on Wednesday left the celebrity-seekers in the media scratching their heads, it also failed to say how many people would lose their jobs as a result of the decision, but you can bet it’s a significant number.
That part of it has almost completely been overlooked, which is why I give the tip of the hat to Fritsch for thinking of people who aren’t the marquee names but have served the company well.
They come out of the dust of this decision with no certainty that they’ll land with another company, especially if they hope to stay in the golf industry which is getting smaller all the time and could get even smaller in the near future.
The demand for each individual’s skill sets might not be strong, which may leave them in a position in which they have to take contract positions over full-time employment.
We hear it all the time these days and the good folks who toiled at Nike, not to mention their families, may now find themselves mired in such uncertainty.
So, let’s put a some perspective on the situation. Of course, the media should keep its ear to the track on what will happen with the marquee names, but you can bet it won’t happen just hours after an announcement.
Tiger, Rory or Michelle Wie won’t be hurting financially and hopefully, the Nike folks who did lose their jobs won’t be either depending on the packages they receive, but many will be in much more precarious situations than the marquee names.
If we keep it in perspective, they should be our first thoughts before we start asking questions that likely won’t be answered for months anyway.