Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion and rookie of the year switched apparel sponsorship from Oakley to Tommy Hilfiger early this year. But at the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend, Bradley was still wearing Oakley footwear. What gives?
Apparently, Oakley lost a heated bidding war for Bradley to Tommy Hilfiger, a golf line licensed to the Fletcher Group of Canada which also makes Sunice. Oakley wanted to keep Bradley, but the rising star commanded as much as five times what Oakley had been paying him to wear its apparel. Executives familiar with the action estimated Bradley's eventual deal to be in the $500,000 range.
However, Tommy Hilfiger does not make golf shoes, so Bradley will continue to wear Oakley's advanced Cipher shoes -- with their sandpaper-like soles and ultralight weight -- under a separate contract.
G-Mac's eyes were smiling
Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who had two incredible shots last weekend -- a hole-in-one and a ricochet birdie -- also signed a new apparel sponsorshipin January, with Dublin-based Kartel. Alan Swan, the chairman of Kartel, said that when he first met McDowell to propose a deal, the two of them were wearing nearly identical cashmere sweaters. That helps. He then made three sample outfits for the Irish pro, who found that they exactly suited his style. Kartel, which dresses Padraig Harrington, too, specializes in mercerized cottons, classic fitted trousers and soft sweaters. This spring the company introduces a new full collection, G-Mac by Kartel, based on the clothes McDowell will be wearing on tour.