Viva la Revolution: TMaG sells Maxfli brand to U.S. sporting-goods retail titan Dick’s

Once upon a time, it was one of golfs most celebrated brand names, aligned at various times through the years with marquee names like Greg Norman, Fred Couples and John Daly, among others _ even the man himself, Jack Nicklaus.

Today, the Maxfli trademark has become part of a growing U.S. sports retail empire “ Dicks Sporting Goods, which also owns Golf Galaxy, the American retailer that helped to spawn its Canadian doppelganger, Golf Town. [photopress:Maxfli_TourFire_Ball_1.jpg,full,alignright]

TaylorMade-adidas Golf, which appears to be well on its way to a toehold in the ball market with the launch of its retooled Tour Preferred and Burner golf ball lines, announced last week it had sold the trademark to DSG for an undisclosed sum.

TMaG will hold on to the popular Noodle trademark as well as all Maxfli golf ball patents “ sort of makes you wonder what Dicks (NYSE: DKS) got for its money.

Ah, Maxfli. I still have some of their old-school ammo from way back in the day in my shag bag. The Revolution was a terrific product, introducing many of my generation to the idea of playing a performance ball. Indeed, Maxflis name has been attached to some decent balls in recent history, most notably the Black Max _ another promising high-end players product that failed to put a dent in the market share of Titleists juggernaut Pro V1. [photopress:BlackMAX_ball_1_2.jpg,full,alignright]

Then there was the Elite, a liquid-centred flameout from eight years ago that was supposed to compete with the likes of Titleist’s Tour Prestige and Professional lines _ the precursors to the Pro V. Not even Nicklaus himself could breathe life into the Elite and a brand that had clearly fallen out of favour.

It’s fair to say the sale of the trademark spells an uncertain future for the enduring Maxfli name. Its only been a couple of years since TMaG retooled Maxfli into a bombers brand, enlisting Daly and his down-home, cornpone style to promote the new Maxfli Fire and the Powermax.

WIth its own feet now firmly planted in the ball market, TMaG has tossed Maxfli both ends of the rope. One wonders whether it will continue to endure.

The news release:
TaylorMade-adidas Golf Sells Maxfli Trademark
to Dick’s Sporting Goods
TaylorMade Will Retain Noodle Golf Ball Franchise
CARLSBAD, Calif. (February 15, 2008) “ TaylorMade-adidas Golf today announced the sale of its Maxfli and related trademarks to Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS). The Noodle trademark and all golf ball patents will remain with TaylorMade-adidas Golf. The sale took effect February 11, 2008. Financial details will be kept confidential.
“Now that we’ve fully developed the TaylorMade brand as our premium ball franchise, we’re committed to growing our business through our Tour Preferred and Burner families,” said Mark King, TaylorMade-adidas Golf President and CEO. “Dick’s Sporting Goods has been a fantastic business partner of ours for many years and we know they will do a great job with the Maxfli brand.”

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

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