Spalding Lawsuit Against Wilson Heats Up


The latest:
STOP IT, AND STOP IT NOW: Tensions are escalating in the golf equipment industrys latest lawsuit. Spalding Sports Worldwide has asked a federal judge to immediately restrain Wilson Sporting Goods from comparing Spaldings Strata Tour Ultimate 2 golf ball with Wilsons new True ball.
The True ball is manufactured to tight tolerances, Wilson claims, so that one side is unlikely to be heavier than the other. Therefore, Wilson reasons, putts wont go off line due to a miniscule (but detectable, Wilson says) lopsidedness. In a television ad, Wilson accused Spaldings ball of being unbalanced in this way in a significant number of instances.
Spalding sued Feb. 22, and now holds up an independent laboratory test that it says replicates real-world putting conditions. Spalding hopes this will convince the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO). Such orders are generally hard to get, because the applicant must show imminent harm and likelihood of success on the merits. But in business cases, especially where advertising is concerned, TROs are not unheard of.
HES NOT DAVE THOMAS, BUT: When MacGregor Golf unveils its new $10 million advertising campaign this month, viewers and readers will get a chance to see whos in charge. Barry Schneider, CEO and owner of the company, will appear with club designer Dave Wood in 30-second TV spots shot during a round of golf with endorsers Jos Maria Olazabal and Lee Janzen. The whole round was unscripted, Schneider said.
MacGregors ads and promotions in support of its V-Foil irons and V-Cavity Weighted metalwoods will appear in major golf and sports magazines, and on various television networks. Other promotions this season will include college golf team sponsorships and 1,200 consumer demo days.
CLYDES CAROLINA COAST ADVENTURES: Golf course architect Clyde Johnston obviously prefers Low Country cooking. His most recent project had him on Hilton Head Island, S.C., where he renovated the 27-year-old course at Sea Pines Country Club. Never a pushover before, the course is now even more of a challenge. In addition to redoing much of the turf and the bunkers and irrigation system, Johnston added 136 yards to the course. That tilted the back-tee USGA Slope Rating from a hefty 124 to a bring-your-A-game-or-stay-home 133.