Bridgestone (OTC: BRDCY) Golf CEO Angel Ilagan recently stated that Tiger Woods is more valuable as an endorser than he is as a player, arguing he’s “the single golfer who’s had the greatest impact bringing consumers into the game”. Ilagan argues that golf enthusiasts are familiar with Tiger’s reputation as a “sports science junky”, who only plays with very best equipment; while noting the game has seen an increase of 4 million players since Woods last participated (back surgeries, DUI) in a tournament (Feb ’16). The company signed Woods to an endorsement deal in December ’16, and generated record sales growth in H1 ’17.
Howie Long-Short: Bridgestone Golf falls under the Bridgestone Corporation umbrella, best known for their rubber & tire business. Bridgestone Corp. recently reported operating income for H1 ’17 was down 7.3% (to $1.8 billion), despite sales rising 5.8% (to $15.5 billion); attributing the earnings decline to rising raw material costs. As for Bridgestone Golf, it posted the 2 most successful quarters in company history and its single highest grossing month in company history, within the first 6 months of 2017. The Japan based company trades over the counter under the symbol BRDCY.
Fan Marino: Woods remains most valuable as an endorser, when he’s playing. Paid advertising has been driving awareness of the Woods/Bridgestone partnership, but nothing can replicate the exposure and impact seeing the Bridgestone “B” on a ball that Tiger is lining up to putt on 18, on Sunday.