Why Was Bears-Eagles Flexed To NBC? John Skipper Sits For Q&A Verizon Looks To Expand Mobile Sports Content Anniversary: Noteworthy Nike Ads ESPN Unveils New Details On SEC Network ESPN's Jed Drake Talks World Cup Prep LeBron James Favoring Old Nikes Winston News Bumps Ferrell Off "SportsCenter" Rick Allen Named NBC's Lead NASCAR Voice NBC Adds Jeff Burton As NASCAR Analyst
SBD/24/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
MARTIN'S MILLIONS? CASEY STEPS TO THE MARKETING PLATE
Published February 24, 1998
Casey Martin is "fielding an avalanche of offers that are extraordinary for a golfer who has not reached the top level" of the PGA Tour, according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. In addition to his Nike apparel deal, worth between $50,000-$75,000 a year with additional income if he earns his PGA Tour card, Martin has deals pending with a national insurance group and a golf equipment manufacturer. The two new sponsor deals will be announced March 3, with a third new deal "imminent." Martin has also received more than 20 requests to appear in corporate- sponsored golf outings and PGA Tour tournaments across the country. Martin: "If someone's willing to pay me to represent them, I'm not going to turn them down. I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that it's done ... because of my leg." NBC's "Dateline" will also feature Martin shortly (WASHINGTON POST, 2/24). In GA, Witsil & Cline reported that officials at E-Z-GO Textron, the nation's largest golf cart maker, have held discussions with Signature Sports Group, Martin's agency, about a possible golf cart endorsement deal. An agreement could be "rendered moot," however, if the PGA Tour decides Martin should ride in a single person scooter (Augusta CHRONICLE, 2/22). EXEMPTIONS: Martin writes in GOLF WORLD: "I have no intention of pursuing any sponsors' exemptions on the PGA Tour, at least not now" (GOLF WORLD, 2/2O). CNN/SI's Jaime Diaz: "Until he knows his game can handle the pressure, it's probably not worth the risk" ("Pro Golf Weekly," CNN, 2/21). MORE CASEY: Jack Nicklaus, on the Martin ruling: "I'm really worried about the long-term effects on the game of golf. ... When you really get down to playing serious tournament golf it's a whole different ballgame, and I know the average person just doesn't understand it" ("Up Close," ESPN, 2/20). AD AGE's Rance Crain credits the PGA Tour for "ignoring the obvious bonanza for itself and its corporate sponsors that will come its way now that" Martin is allowed to use a cart. The Tour, in "protecting the integrity of the game, is determined to keep the likable" Martin out of events "even though his presence will draw huge support for golf." Crain: "Instead of deriding the PGA Tour for trying to de-ride Mr. Martin, let's be thankful that there is one group willing to spurn all the good feeling -- not to mention corporate opportunity -- that will flow to golf because of Mr. Martin's brave determination" (AD AGE, 2/23).