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SBD/January 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Nike Signs Deal With African-American PGA Tour Rookie Bramlett
Published January 13, 2011
Nike Golf has signed a multiyear deal with PGA Tour rookie Joseph Bramlett, who will make his pro debut this afternoon at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Bramlett, who is just the second African-American on the PGA Tour, will utilize Nike clubs, balls, footwear, gloves, bag, apparel, headwear and accessories (Nike). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith reported Team Services co-Founder Fred Fried, whose company "primarily has been known for selling naming rights to buildings," signed Bramlett to representation "without any competition from traditional player rep agencies." Fried "envisions two or three more sponsors -- endemic and non-endemic -- coming on board in 2011 during Bramlett's rookie season." Bramlett is the "first golfer of African-American heritage to graduate from the PGA Tour's qualifying school in 25 years," and Fried will "seek relationships that help Bramlett promote the game to the African-American audience." Bramlett "will be featured in NBC's coming golf show 'Ticket to the Tour,' which looks at newcomers on the PGA Tour." Bramlett is the "first athlete client at Team Services," and Fried is "not discounting the possibility of more work in the golf space." Fried: "We would consider expanding in golf. It'll be interesting to see how this goes" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/3 issue).
FOLLOWING TIGER'S TRAIL: USA TODAY's Steve DiMeglio notes when Bramlett tees off today at the Sony Open, he will "join Tiger Woods as the only players of black descent who have Tour cards." Bramlett: "It truly is an honor for me, and I hope this can start to change things. I'm not always the most common looking person on the golf course, so hopefully if I can play well this year, I can inspire kids to know that if I can do it, they can do it." Bramlett added he thinks in the "next two or three years you'll see more African-American players out here on the PGA Tour." Bramlett: "It's a process. There are several black players that are up and coming" (USA TODAY, 1/13). More Bramlett: "I think that, hopefully, I can leave an impact on the game that can help change things further. Tiger has had a huge impact and I'm just one of several kids coming up right now" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 1/13).