Innovation in the sports industry is constantly evolving, with activity driven by digital advancements, high-level of social media interactions, broad appeal for immersive sports experience, and fan engagement, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, cloud, data analytics, wearable tech, and many more. In the last three years alone, there have been over 48,000 patents filed and granted in the sports industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Sports: Adjustable weight putters

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

20+ innovations will shape the sports industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the sports industry using innovation intensity models built on over 101,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, portable dockable scoring machines, aural feedback type sporting equipment, and activity tracking camera network are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Adjustable weight putters, surf simulators, and polyurethane sports accessories are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are sport bats and sport rackets, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the sports industry 

Adjustable weight putter - a key innovation in sports arena 

The main benefit of adjustable weight putters in golf is that adding weight to putter ensures enhanced distance and directional control for steadiness of the stroke. With a heavier putter head, users can feel a significant difference in controlling a shot and hitting the putt at a specific distance. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20 companies, spanning technology vendors, established sports companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of adjustable weight putters. 

Key players in adjustable weight putters – a disruptive innovation in the sports industry

 ‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to adjustable weight putters

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Karsten Manufacturing 553 Unlock company profile
Parsons Xtreme Golf 439 Unlock company profile
NIKE 407 Unlock company profile
FILA Holdings 367 Unlock company profile
Ping 276 Unlock company profile
Centroid Investment Partners 251 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 213 Unlock company profile
Topgolf Callaway Brands 196 Unlock company profile
Artemis 114 Unlock company profile
Bridgestone 65 Unlock company profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 25 Unlock company profile
Mizuno 13 Unlock company profile
Velos Media 13 Unlock company profile
Yamaha 12 Unlock company profile
Advanced International Multitech 10 Unlock company profile
S&J International Enterprises Public Company 7 Unlock company profile
Velos Media International 6 Unlock company profile
Fusheng Precision 6 Unlock company profile
Prince Sports 5 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Karsten Manufacturing is one of the leading patent filers in adjustable weight putters. Some other key patent filers in the consumer-packaged goods industry include Ping, Topgolf Callaway Brands, Mizuno, Yamaha, Advanced International Multitech, and S&J International Enterprises. 

In terms of application diversity, Velos Media leads the pack, while Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson and Velos Media stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson held the top position, followed by Ping and Velos Media International. 

Adjustable weight putters will potentially become the approach favoured by many future consumer-packaged goods companies. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the sports industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Sports


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.