Lanky Australian Geoff Ogilvy, winner of the 2006 U.S. Open, has switched apparel sponsors in addition to changing his clubs from Cobra to Titleist, both within the Acushnet Company family. He will no longer be wearing Puma Golf clothing and footwear, instead signing a multiyear sponsorship deal with FootJoy (also a division of Acushnet) to wear its FJ Icon golf shoes and Sta-Soft gloves.
"It is true that we have parted ways with Geoff after a great four years," said Curtis Begg, the director of marketing for Puma Golf North America, in an email. He added that Puma was focusing its efforts on young pro Rickie Fowler. "We are extremely excited about that relationship for a number of reasons U.S. based male, great headwear exposure as well as being an exciting young, hot asset in golf."
FootJoy, naturally, is expressing similar excitement about signing Ogilvy, whom it calls "a golf icon" and "an international star who excels under the toughest conditions." Ogilvy was wearing the FJ Icon sport saddle shoe this week at Kapalua, Hawaii. FootJoy, the industry leader in golf shoes, also saddles up players like Ian Poulter, Camilo Villegas, Rory McIlroy, and Hunter Mahan.
Since Acushnet's various companies do not make much golf clothing to speak of, it remains to be seen what kind of shirts, trousers, and so forth Ogilvy will wear on tour. Many Acushnet-sponsored athletes end up quietly wearing Peter Millar clothing (see below) with Titleist and FootJoy logos displayed on them.
PGA Show Update
In a healthy sign for the golf industry, Cobra Golf (another division of Acushnet) has been added to the roster of major companies exhibiting on the floor of the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, January 28-30. The last time Cobra exhibited as a stand-alone vendor at the show was in 2002.
New Leadership at Peter Millar
Todd Martin has been hired as president of the golf division of Peter Millar, a maker of luxury clothing based in Cary, N.C., the company announced this week. Peter Millar provides high-end, traditional golf clothing to several tour professionals. Until recently Martin was a top executive at Fairway & Greene of Shelton, CT.