In 1991 during the peak of his career, Michael Jordan began a 10 year endorsement deal with Gatorade. Basketball fans and Michael Jordan fans didn’t care that Gatorade had a contract with Michael Jordan to endorse the product-all were too engrossed in his talent to think about that. Fans saw this incredible basketball player, drinking Gatorade and because he drank Gatorade, they wanted to drink Gatorade too. It was that simple.
Since 2011, Nike saw something in Rory McIlroy and brought him on to “Team Nike”. He and Tiger would become the greatest names of Nike golf. Two years later, he signed a deal with Bose Headphones. Both Nike and Bose have been largely impacted by Rory’s success and bringing him on to their team ensure that Rory will remain a loyal brand user. Little kids want Nike clubs and Bose headphones…adults do too-all thanks to Rory.
“In January 2013, Under Armour made a 19-year-old Spieth the face of the company’s fledgling golf wing. This past January, Under Armour scrapped the final two years of that deal and gave Spieth a new 10-year contract.” This was a big risk for Under Armour, a brand that, before Spieth was not too heavily involved or respected in the golf industry. Little did they know that Spieth was just beginning his career and would soon be world number 1. It’s fair to say, that Under Armour now has some leverage in the golf world and kids growing up watching Spieth the way kids grew up watching Tiger and Arnold Palmer are impacted by every little thing that he does-and he seems to be making it all count in a positive way.
Most visible and arguably the most popular partnerships is Rickie Fowler and Cobra-Puma. In 2009 Cobra-Puma signed Rickie Fowler and golf has changed ever since. Kids and adults can be seen walking the course in bright neon colored Puma hats and golf shirts. When one walks by another neon-Puma wearer, there is an unspoken respect for the other. Rickie helped make golf “fashionable” and really allowed for his personality to shine through his clothing choice. Every tournament that Golfer Insights has been too, there are at least 100 kids and adults decked out on Cobra-Puma, following the one and only Rickie Fowler.
A Brand is a powerful thing, especially if done right and Nike, Under Armour and Cobra-Puma have all done right in the golf industry. These brands are impacting and shaping children and adults around the world and everyone knows that kids are the most loyal “consumer” to a brand. Grab kids attention early, keep them happy and excited about new products, events and athletes and you have them as a customer for a lifetime.