When you ask golf enthusiasts to name some prominent golf companies, they immediately rattle off names like TaylorMade, Callaway, and Titleist – highly-visible equipment brands in the golfing world. But how do this these brands garner household name status and standout in a $70 billion sporting business? Simple, through golf sponsorship and partnership deals with prominent players.
Even though prize winnings at big golf tournaments like the PGA Tour are significant sources of income, pro golfers make most of their money off-course through sponsorships.
7 Top Golfers: World Rankings and Golf Sponsorship Deals
Here are some of the highest paid professional golfers with huge endorsement deals:
1. Rory McIlrory
Former Number 1, Rory McIlroy signed a multi-year golf sponsorship deal with Adidas-owned, TaylorMade. This deal shot his bank balance to $100 million and cemented his status as one of the biggest marketable sportsmen in global sport.
He also extended a Nike endorsement deal that was worth $200 million over a period of 10 years. The Irish golfer’s reach into the golf business world also includes money-spinning deals with Omega (a high-end watch manufacturer) as well as being the official face of EA Sports PGA Tour – one of the best-selling console games today
2. Phil Mickelson
Phil’s contract with Callaway, a leading golf gear brand, has spanned more than 10 years now – and will possibly continue for a much longer time. The golfer has been using the Callaway equipment for most of his playing career, and this has seen him win several PGA Tours and more than five other major championships.
Phil also signed a personal endorsement deal with Workday – a human resource and financial management technology company.
3. Tiger Woods
Arguably the most known pro golfer in the world, Tiger Woods has represented a wide array of companies over the years, and this has earned him millions of dollars through golf sponsorship and endorsement deals. Some of the major companies include:
- Nike: Nike built its golf division around this star ever since they signed him in 1996. Even though the company stopped making golf equipment in 2016, it still outfits the golfer’s shoes and apparel.
- TaylorMade Golf: This company signed Woods in 2017 to endorse their golf clubs.
- Bridgestone Golf: Woods plays with this brand’s golf balls as part of the endorsements deal. This was after Nike stopped manufacturing golf equipment.
Tiger Woods also has endorsement deals with Monster Energy, Hero Motor Group, Upper Deck, Kowa, and Full Swing.
4. Jordan Spieth
Through his short but very successful golfing career, Jordan Spieth has a maintained a clean-cut image that has catapulted his marketability. The young golfer won two major championships and seven PGA Tours before he turned 23.
He has a 10-year sponsorship deal with Under Armour as well as other endorsement relationships with Super Strokes, NetJets, Rolex, Perfect Sense, Titleist, and AT&T. These deals combined with the overseas appearance money easily put Jordan past $50 million every year.
5. Dustin Johnson
Currently ranked world’s Number 1, Dustin Johnson is the latest elite golfer to join the RBC team. Other players include Brooke Henderson, Brandt Snedeker, Rider Cup Captain Jim Furyk, and Matt Kuchar.
Johnson has had a tremendous run in the last few years with 17 wins on the PGA Tours. He’s also one of the only three golfers in PGA history to win at least a title in all of his 11 seasons since he debuted.
The RBC team is now compromised of 14 high profile golfers who represent the pinnacle of top-notch golf performance. Apart from wearing the RBC brand on their apparel and golf bags, they will also support the marketing initiatives of the bank.
6. Jason Day
Jason Day reportedly signed an apparel contract with Nike worth $100 million that will include shoes, clothing, hats, and gloves. This deal propelled him to be one of the highest paid pro golfers in the world.
7. Adam Scott
Adam Scott represents more than just a high profile golfer – just look at all the brand emblazoned on his shirts and the logos on his bags. Without a doubt, “Scott Incorporated” remains to be a big business that surges each and every year.
For the longest time, Scott has been known to be the top Titleist brand ambassador. He has certainly taken a good sum of money over the 10 years he has been representing the company.
There You Have it Folks – the Highest Paid Golfers on the Planet!
If you have ever played golf, then you understand why these pro golfers are reaping big from golf sponsorship and endorsement deals. The truth is, golf is a difficult game. It requires a lot of focus, mental fortitude, and muscle memory. Some people can handle it, some can’t, and some simply stand out.
It may look all easy, but takes a lot of dedication, time, and sacrifice. But who knows, you can start by knowing the golf basics and build from there.