January 14, 2016
Jordan Spieth has an endorsement with another major company, signing on with Coca-Cola as a brand ambassador.
Coca-Cola announced Wednesday a multiyear partnership with Spieth in which the world's No. 1 player will be used in television advertising, digital and social media, packaging, point-of-sale and other areas. He also will be promoting the company's Dasani brand of water.
''Coca-Cola has always been associated with iconic sporting events and some of the world's greatest athletes, so this is an incredibly cool opportunity for me,'' Spieth said.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Before the deal with Coca-Cola was announced, Golf Digest estimated his 2015 income from golf (earnings and endorsements) at over $50 million, tops among golfers.
Spieth now has two Fortune 100 companies for endorsements. The other is Dallas-based AT&T.
Peggy Loos, the vice president of connections activation for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said the company has been talking to Spieth for more than a year, long before he won two majors and rose to No. 1 in the world. She described him as an ''incredible athlete who exemplifies our brand.''
Coca-Cola is the presenting sponsor of the Tour Championship, which Spieth won at East Lake to capture the FedEx Cup and cap off his big year. Loos was on the 18th green when Spieth received his trophy (and the Coke machine). She was struck by how the 22-year-old Texan, after the questions ended, made sure to thank every sponsor involved.
''Today a lot of his appeal is within the golf culture,'' she said. ''We believe, and he believes, that he has the potential to transcend that and be a cultural influence. He has the capability and the attraction to do so.''
For his age, he has an attention to detail when it comes to the corporate side of golf.
When he won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and received the trophy Sunday at Kapalua, he asked the Hyundai executive to hold the trophy with him for one of the photos. A Coke can was sitting on an empty table next to his chair at his news conference. Spieth set the trophy down behind the can before anyone knew of the impending announcement of his new endorsement.
During his swift rise to the top of golf, Spieth has kept his corporate endorsements at a minimum and a relatively clean look on the golf course. He has a 10-year deal with Under Armour (apparel, hat, glove and shoves) with his own logo on the back of his cap. AT&T is on his golf bag, and he plays Titleist clubs.
Spieth also has deals with Rolex, NetJets and SuperStroke golf grips.
His agent, Jay Danzi, said he has been inundated with offers, particularly after a year in which Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open, among his five titles, and won the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
''We've always had a less-is-more approach,'' Danzi said. ''For us to consider a company, there needs to be the right brand synergies and we need to be comfortable with the activation strategy from both a brand and a charitable standpoint.''
He said the Coca-Cola deal does not include logos on Spieth or his equipment while on the golf course.
Included in the promotion is the company's ''6-Pack of Olympians and Paralympians'' leading up to the Rio Games. Golf is back in the Olympics for the first time since 1904. Spieth previously has said he looks at the Olympics as another major. With his position in the world ranking, he is virtually certain of being in Rio.
Spieth joins a superstar cast of Coca-Cola's biggest promoters that includes LeBron James, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Anniston.
''There is no question Jordan is a generational talent, even as his professional career is just getting started,'' said Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of brand marketing for Coca-Cola. ''As a company, what we admire most about Jordan is the way he has embraced being a role model.''
The company's history with golf dates to 1947 when Bobby Jones appeared in an advertising campaign and became a Coca-Cola bottler soon after.