SBD/January 30, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Michael Phelps Inks Endorsement Deal With Ping; Debuts Golf Clubs At Phoenix Pro-Am

Retired U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps has reached an agreement with Ping to play a full set of the brand's custom-fit golf clubs. His official debut representing Ping will be today at the Annexus Pro-Am as part of the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Phelps will be paired with Bubba Watson, last year's winner of The Masters. Phelps also will appear on Golf Channel reality show "The Haney Project" this spring. Phelps' Ping clubs are painted with gold and red, white and blue accents (Ping). Phelps said, "They look cool too. My driver is painted was a little bit of gold. I have 'Phelps 22' on [the clubs]." He added, "I want to be my own individual, so I threw some ideas at them and Ping went above and beyond anything I could've ever imagined to make the set that I have now. It's something that is pretty special and unique. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that nobody else has red, white and blue on their clubs like I do, so it does feel pretty amazing" (, 1/29). Phelps: "Other sponsors I have had have felt like a family away from home and I like that. When I walked into the headquarters here in Phoenix you could feel it the moment you walked in. Plus they have the putter vault with all those gold putters from champions using Ping putters in their wins. There's a lot of gold here so it seemed like a perfect fit" (, 1/30).
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