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Volume 24 No. 117

Labor and Agents

Chubby Chandler is “arguably the most influential individual in golf today, reshaping the game’s frontiers in the age of Rory McIlroy,” according to Kevin Garside of the London TELEGRAPH. Chandler has logged “22 years in the empire-building business, long enough to recognise a game breaker when he sees one.” Chandler’s roster of players include McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke, and “each of his clients receives the required attention.” Chandler said, “We don’t market the hell out of them trying to get every single dime. It is all about scheduling for the benefit of their careers. That said, Rory has a lot coming at him at the moment. You try to go through them and find the deals that suit him best and are the kindest for him. Rory loves sport. It’s his only hobby. If we do a deal with a company that involves ambassadorial work for them at a sporting event then that’s much more appealing for him than four tournament days with clients. If I can find sponsors that want to take him to Wimbledon, Man United, Formula One, that’s an easy deal to make.” Chandler added, “What is interesting about Rory is the need in golf for a new superstar. ... The way he plays golf with a flourish, the way he embraces people on the course, Rory definitely has a bit of [the late Seve Ballesteros] in him” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/11).

POWER BROKER: The GUARDIAN’s Lawrence Donegan writes Chandler “is a bit of a loose cannon.” In the course of “failing to take himself too seriously he makes the supposed mistake of not taking seriously the things that matter to the power brokers.” Chandler: "I hate that 'most powerful man in golf' rubbish. I'm not powerful, I am lucky.” Chandler said of McIlroy, “I have no idea what he is worth because there is no set value on what he does. You follow some guidelines based on other guys but he has gone, bonk, sky high.” He added, “If we do deals that are sympathetic to Rory then I know we won't go far wrong. He is 22, the lad, and we have got to make sure he isn't a basket case by the time he is 25." Chandler said McIlroy could “possibly” be Britain's most financially successful sportsman in the future. Chandler: “One of my ambitions is to put a Chinese logo on Rory's hat because golf is going to be unbelievable big in China once it starts being an Olympic sport" (GUARDIAN, 7/12).

MOVING INTO TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD: The GUARDIAN’s Donegan writes McIlroy's “fortune could one day surpass that of Tiger Woods.” Chandler “described as extraordinary" the reaction to his client's U.S. Open victory “both from the wider public and from the corporate world, as potential sponsors seek to tie their name to McIlroy's image.” Chandler: "When he comes to sign new deals Rory won't be a million miles away from what Tiger gets, based on what the amount of reaction we have had after the US Open and what people want and what they are offering. With Rory, there are no rules any more" (GUARDIAN, 7/12).