SBJ/January 16-22, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Top amateur likely to keep endorsement in the family

It doesn’t quite have the “Of course!” feel of this month’s news of PBR sponsoring the Pro Bull Riders — but it’s close.

Titleist officials are in talks with the agent for golfer Peter Uihlein, son of the CEO for the brand’s parent company, Acushnet, and a deal may be completed before the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion’s first pro start in Europe later this month.

Titleist is in talks with Peter Uihlein, son of Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein. Acushnet is Titleist’s parent company.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
The deal is being negotiated by Jerry Bellis, president of Titleist Golf Balls Worldwide, and Mac Fritz, Titleist vice president of tour promotion, with Uihlein’s agent, Chubby Chandler.

Uihlein’s father, Wally Uihlein, has recused himself from the negotiations. Achushnet owns the Titleist, Footjoy and other leading golf brands.

“We are definitely going to have a relationship with Peter,” Fritz said last week. “It has nothing to do with his last name. It has everything to do with his track record. He was the No. 1-ranked amateur for 12 consecutive months. He did it on his own, not with his father.”

Chandler, when asked if Peter Uihlein would sign with Titleist, said, “What do you think?”

Uihlein has played with Titleist equipment since he was a boy.

“I would be amazed if he doesn’t get a Titleist deal,” Chandler said, noting that a deal likely would put the Titleist logo on the front of his cap.

Wally Uihlein, in an email, stressed that he had recused himself from his son’s equipment deal talks. “However, in all fairness to Peter,” he wrote, “I think he is an intelligent enough of a young man to understand what is the politically correct thing to do.”

Peter Uihlein is expected to make his pro debut at a European Challenge Tour event in Ahmedabad, India, on Jan. 26.

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