With the turning of the calendar to a new year contractual changes are in full flight among pro golfers.
Months of speculation about what companies players will endorse this year is ending as new contracts are officially announced prior to the return of play for the major tours.
In Canada there is no bigger news than the choices for Graham DeLaet. After a breakout season on the PGA Tour in 2013 the timing could not have been better for the Saskatchewan native and his many expiring endorsement deals. As a result he’ll be able to take full advantage of his recent success.
The stylish anchor of the President’s Cup (Adam Scott called him the MVP) will return to the fairways of the PGA TOUR in 2014 with some new threads. After a two-year partnership with Canadian brand Sligo Wear the 36th ranked golfer in the world has signed a deal with PUMA Golf.
“Graham DeLaet is a perfect fit for the PUMA Golf team,” said Bob Philion, president of COBRA PUMA GOLF. “He is a world class performer who brings a fresh look to the course, making him the perfect representation of the style and performance blend that PUMA Golf embraces. We are excited to support Graham as he continues his success on Tour and embodies the PUMA Golf energy on and off the course.”
After attending the NHL’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, DeLaet will now begin to prep for his first start of 2014, the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
In doing so he will be hit the course for the first time in his new PUMA Golf apparel, accessories and headwear (headwear will feature new sponsor Shaw on the front).
Each Sunday in 2014 Canada’s top golfer will be sporting his national colours, red & white with PUMA GOLF planning to share photos on social media via a #CanadianSunday hashtag.
“PUMA Golf is a great fit for me and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the team,” said DeLaet. “I have always been a fan of the brand and the innovative combination of function and fashion they bring to the game. Their unique style is matched with top-performing gear that will undoubtedly help improve my game, and I look forward to represent PUMA Golf on Tour in 2014 and beyond.”
DeLaet’s deal is only with PUMA GOLF, not with the COBRA side of the brand. He remains with equipment manufacturer Titleist.
In additional endorsement news Ernie Els ends his seven year partnership with Callaway Golf and is heading to the Adams Golf camp.
The company announced that the four-time major champion has agreed to a multi-year deal where he’ll play a range of their products and feature a bag and headwear with the company’s logo. There is no word yet on the clubs that will make up his set and if they will include selections from the company’s sister brand, TaylorMade.
“As a player, there are many factors in something as fundamentally important as your equipment. Everything about Adams impresses me, starting with the enthusiasm and energy from company leadership and R&D, along with their strong products,” Els explained. “I’m partnered with a company where innovation is at the heart of everything they do, where they’re always looking to push the envelope and pursue new ideas that ultimately help players of all skill levels play better.”
“’The Big Easy’ is one of the most prolific winners of his generation and a natural match for Adams, with our philosophy of creating the easiest to hit golf equipment,” said John Ward, Adams Golf President. “Ernie’s worldwide appeal and iconic status fit our international business growth as we extend our stronghold in hybrids to other categories.”
The brand is using the #ElsToAdams hashtag for their social media conversations if you would like to monitor it.
Other contract confirmations confirmed via player announcements on Twitter include 2013 PGA Tour winner Harris English who has moved to Callaway Golf from PING and Trevor Immelman who has joined the TaylorMade-adidas Golf family.