Nascar-ization of Golf

Anybody that has seen John Daly walk the fairways in recent years…is witness to what a human billboard looks like in the game of golf. For the most part this type of advertising was reserved for the Nascar industry. Where even a square inch on a dashboard cam is worth a couple years salary to most.

But in recent years the trend seems to be catching on in golf as well . And golfers aren’t complaining…not only are the great golfers finding lucrative contracts from sponsors but many golfers who struggle on the tour are as well. Many of the journeyman are finding out that there left sleeve is worth more then their actual golf game can earn…and especially if they are in contention for a major.

Here are some numbers to give you an idea of how lucrative the right arm of many golfers are worth. And if you ever wondered why we have to wear collars to play this game…look no further. But I wonder if the economy will have a lot more players sporting blank sleeves in ’09…what do you think?


($75,000 and up)

Many players make the hat they’ll wear part of a clubs-balls-bag-apparel deal. As a rule of thumb, the front of the hat, with its prime TV exposure, makes up half the total value. Tiger’s cap is part of a clothing deal with Nike worth $29 million a year. Semi-star Luke Donald got about $1 million a year to wear Mizuno’s logo on his cap, but that amount could quadruple if he wins the Masters. Golfers sell the sides of the cap for less than half as much as the front, and the back for as little as one-tenth.

Right Sleeve

($10,000 to $1 million)

This sleeve is less precious than the left because it gets less TV time, but some marketers prefer it because it shows up on a right-hander’s follow-through. For lefty Phil Mickelson, whose right side faces the target, this is the million-dollar sleeve.

Chest Pocket

($25,000 and up)

The best real estate south of the ears. You can get a no-name for the minimum, but even such second-tier stars as Luke Donald and John Daly (well he could) can command $250,000 or more for over-the-heart coverage.


($10,000 to $30,000)

Footwear is cheaper than you’d think until you stop to think: You see shoes on TV only when a golfer goes into a hazard.

Back of the collar

(up to $650,000)

Jim Furyk signed a three-year, $2 million deal to wear a Johnnie Walker logo here. (That’s Johnnie Walker menswear—hard-liquor logos are a no-no.)