SBJ/November 26 - December 2, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

Young golfer bags big club contract

In one of the biggest endorsement deals ever for a young golfer, David Gossett's new PRGR club contract is worth a guaranteed $3 million but could be worth as much as $10 million if he hits certain incentives, sources said.

Gossett agreed to a three-year deal to endorse the PRGR brand, part of the Tokyo-based Yokohama Rubber Co., earlier this month. As part of the agreement, Gossett will play the clubs and wear the PRGR name on his headwear and bag.

Steve Loy, CEO of Gaylord Sports Management, is Gossett's agent.

Gossett won the John Deere Classic this year, one of only three players in modern golf history to win a PGA Tour event via a sponsor exemption. The other two are Tiger Woods, an IMG client, and Phil Mickelson, also a client of Gaylord.

Loy would not discuss financial terms of the PRGR deal. Sources said the contract includes up to $7 million in incentives if Gossett hits certain goals.

Gossett played in 15 PGA Tour events this year, had two top-five finishes and was ranked 68th on the money list with $748,126 in earnings. Gossett, 22, won the 1999 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Some golf industry insiders questioned whether it was a wise move for a golfer so young to change clubs. But Loy said the PRGR clubs are similar to the Titleist and Mizuno clubs Gossett had been using, and he noted that Gossett used the club when he recently finished 10th in a Japanese tournament won by David Duval.

The new PRGR clubs will be released to the public in January. Gossett will appear in television and print ads and will make promotional appearances for the company.

Loy is in talks with additional sponsors in the financial services and automobile categories about deals with Gossett.

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