SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

MARTIN'S ENDORSEMENT ENDEAVORS INSURED WITH TOP-FLITE DEALS

          Casey Martin has signed endorsement deals to play Top-
     Flite balls and Ping clubs and to display The Hartford
     Insurance logo on his bag, according to Ron Sirak of the AP. 
     Martin has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday when he
     returns to the Nike Tour to play at the Greater Austin
     Classic in TX.  Sirak reported that "three industry sources"
     confirmed the deals to the AP.  Spalding Sports,
     manufactures of Top-Flite and Karsten Manufacturing,
     manufacturers of Ping, refused to confirm or deny the deals.
     Officials with The Hartford Insurance offices could not be
     reached for comment (AP, 2/28).  Martin was interviewed this
     morning on NBC's "Today."  Asked about lucrative endorsement
     deals, Martin said he wasn't "going to comment on it too
     much."  Martin: "I'm generally not getting paid what Tiger's
     getting paid, but there've been some opportunities and ... I
     never expected it, but I'm not going to turn it down."  On
     returning to the Nike Tour: "I do want to play well.  I've
     never dealt with this kind of exposure and media attention
     and I don't really want to go make a clown of myself.  But
     I'll just accept whatever happens as for the best and I'll
     do my best.  I can't promise anything.  I'm just grateful I
     have a chance now" ("Today," NBC, 3/2).
          MORE MARTIN: Martin is profiled by NEWSWEEK's John
     Leland who writes that his case vs. the PGA Tour was "a
     victory of David over Goliath, or a judicial intrusion into
     the integrity of professional sport.  It pits a stock hero 
     -- brusquely handsome, devoutly Christian, a young man
     battling constant pain -- against an association with a
     history of exclusion" (NEWSWEEK, 3/9 issue).  

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Related Topics:

NBC, Nike, PGA Tour, Russell Athletic

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