Jordan Spieth’s 2015 was one for the books. After winning both the Master’s and the U.S. Open, he placed in the top four in the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, and now, in 2016—after winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January—he’s looking to cash in big on endorsements.
The names of the high-profile brands who’ve decided to get on the Spieth train in the past year are as big as it gets: AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Under Armour are chief among them, but he’s also got deals with Titleist, Rolex, and more.
Spieth signed his deal with Coke back in January, and though the full details aren’t available, it was reported at the time that the deal was on par with the company’s contract with LeBron James—and the more Spieth wins, the more his deals are worth. (AT&T, who hopped aboard with Spieth in 2014, presumably got a relative bargain.)
But endorsements for brands like AT&T and Coke, while they’re good for Spieth’s bottom line, are also kind of irrelevant to his fans—Spieth’s website offers explanations for why he’s partnered with the brands that he has in the golfer’s own voice (sample: “Being in a different city each week, I know how important it is to stay connected. AT&T’s technology keeps me in touch with family and friends everywhere I go.”), but ultimately, attempts to connect his performance to soda and cell phone companies are dubious, at best. That makes his deal with Under Armour the real one to watch—because, as he unveiled this week, that’s where he’s selling his new line of shoes and other products that an aspiring Spieth can buy to try to match the real Spieth’s performance.
The new line, which was revealed this week at an Austin Top Golf location, doesn’t come cheap—either for consumers (the line starts at $159 a pair) or for UA (whose deal with Spieth, which was almost certainly laden with incentives that the golfer hit last year, is rumored to be worth as much as $200 million). But that’s where Spieth is at as a personality right now: He’s poised to be one of the highest-paid media personalities in the world in the near future, with an estimated $50 million in earnings in 2015 even before Coca-Cola got on board.
The endorsement portfolios of rich athletes such as Spieth are worth noting, because it suggests that there are a lot of important people with money who are confident that Spieth is going to be around for a long while. The media presence of Texas athletes dried up following the fall of L*nce Armstr*ng (we try not to say his name when we don’t have to). For years, even well-loved stars like Tony Romo, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Andre Johnson, and more were mostly just guys who played the game. Now, though, Texans are everywhere in the landscape: Spieth joins J.J. Watt and James Harden as ubiquitous national (or, in Spieth’s case, international) figures, which is good for the profile of Texas sports—so long as the guys keep on winning.