In the first round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the opening day of the LPGA Tour 2023 season, the fact that Brooke Henderson (Canada) and Nellie Korda (USA) finished in first and second place became a hot topic of conversation because of the fame of the two players. It’s not just because. It became even bigger news because the two players recently changed their golf clubs. Prior to the tournament, Henderson switched club contracts from Ping to TaylorMade, and Koda from Titleist to TaylorMade.
In the first round of the tournament held on the 20th (Korean time) at Lake Nona Golf Course (par 72) in Orlando, Florida, USA, Henderson shot a 5 under par 67 and Koda recorded a 4 under par 68.
TaylorMade’s contracts with Koda and Henderson coincided with the growing popularity of women’s golf. A foreign press said, “TaylorMade, which has been focusing on the American Professional Golf (PGA) Tour, recently signed contracts with female golfers is a noticeable change.” It seems that they are trying to apply it to women’s golf in the same way they approached it.”
In the case of Henderson, he used to use a 48-inch driver, but due to a change in golf rules, he was not allowed to use clubs longer than 46 inches, and he said that he had a lot of worries because his flying distance decreased. It was also one of the reasons he broke up with Ping, whom he had been using since childhood.
The huge contract between Nike and Corda reflects the growing popularity of women’s golf in recent years. Koda signed a multi-year contract with Nike Golf, reportedly the biggest deal Nike has signed with a female golfer since signing Michelle Wie’s “Genius” Wie to a four-year, $20 million deal in 2005. Koda is stepping on the course in Nike golf apparel and golf shoes before the season opener.
Prior to this, Ko Jin-young also signed a renewal contract with Solair, a Philippine resort company, to extend sponsorship for two years under unconventional conditions. Ko Jin-young signed a sponsorship contract with Solaire in March 2020 after receiving treatment worthy of the highest level of female golfers, and she is reported to have re-signed with better terms for the next two years.
Another reason why global golf equipment companies are eyeing female golfers is related to the fact that there are fewer male golfers to sign contracts with. It seems that sponsoring male golfers who moved to the live golf series sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund not only does not help the marketing effect much, but rather risks it. This is the so-called ‘LIV risk’. In fact, there are quite a few companies that have terminated contracts with top golfers who left for Liv, such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
As Korda signed contracts with Nike and TaylorMade, she parted ways with Hanwha Group, with whom she had been with her for six years. However, Hanwha Group, which read the world women’s golf trend in advance 바카라 and signed a sponsorship contract at a low price a few years ago, is being evaluated as having a great eye. Hanwha Q Cells looked at the possibility of Koda, who was a rookie in the LPGA in 2017, signed a 4-year contract to sponsor her, and in early 2021, she renewed her contract and stayed with her for two more years.
Hana Financial Group is also a successful case by jumping into the global women’s golf marketing market ahead of Hanwha Group. Lydia Ko, a New Zealander who currently ranks first in the world, is a member of Hana Financial Group, and Korean compatriot Lee Min-ji, who is ranked third in the world, is also a player sponsored by Hana Financial Group. In addition, Hana Financial Group is sub-sponsoring Ataya Titikkun (Thailand), who is ranked 4th in the world.