Jordan Spieth's Sponsorships Keep Growing: Why Golf's Golden Boy Is So Marketable

Pro golfer Jordan Spieth has made millions in endorsements before his 21st birthday. Now he has another sponsor.

May 16, 2014 at 11:09AM

Jordan Spieth is golf's golden boy. The reigning PGA Rookie of the Year became the first teenager to win on Tour since the Great Depression last year, and he was the youngest American to make a Presidents Cup roster ever. With nearly $7 million in career earnings, Spieth's success has already translated into a fat bank account. But is he set to make even more money from endorsements?

The latest deal
Earlier this week, he signed a sponsorship deal with AT&T (NYSE:T), the Dallas Morning News reports. Although the value of the agreement wasn't revealed, the company did say -- expectedly -- that it will last for multiple years.

With AT&T, Spieth joins an experienced PGA Tour marketer. It received heavy exposure at this year's Masters, and the company has naming rights to the annual Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Next year, AT&T will also become the title sponsor of the Byron Nelson Championship.

The Under Armour connection
Under Armour (NYSE:UA), though, takes the cake in terms of visibility among Spieth's sponsors. The apparel giant signed him back in January 2013 when he was ranked 809th in the world, a whopping 801 spots lower than he is now. ESPN's Darren Rovell says, at that time Under Armour expressed "wanting to sign Spieth for 25 years."

While the deal probably isn't longer than a decade -- that's the estimated length of Rory McIlroy's Nike (NYSE:NKE) contract, for example -- Under Armour still has to be very happy. Spieth is the first golfer in the company's history to don its gear from top to bottom.


Under Armour.

At this year's Masters, where Spieth finished tied for second and led heading into Sunday, he displayed the "UA" logo on his pants, shirt, hat, and belt -- close to 10 in total.

Adding it all up
According to Forbes, Spieth also has endorsement deals with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) subsidiary NetJets, Rolex, Perfect Sense Digital, BioSteel Sports Supplements, and of course, Titleist, which supplies his equipment.

Golf Digest reports Spieth made $4.5 million from endorsements last year. On the course, he made about $4.6 million.

Income of World Golf Top 10 (in millions)
  Off-Course On-Course Off/On Ratio
1. Tiger Woods $71.0 $12.1 5.9
2. Adam Scott $7.6 $8.0 0.9
3. Henrik Stenson $2.9 $18.5 0.2
4. Bubba Watson $4.2 $2.2 1.9
5. Matt Kuchar $3.7 $7.1 0.5
6. Jason Day $2.5 $5.2 0.5
7. Sergio Garcia $8.5 $3.4 2.5
8. Jordan Spieth $4.5 $4.6 *1.0
9. Justin Rose $5.5 $6.2 0.9
10. Rory McIlroy $18.0 $2.6 6.9

Data via Golf Digest and OWGR. Table compiled by author. All figures are from 2013 season. *Actual ratio is 0.97, rounded up to 1.0.

As seen above, the ratio between types of income reveals a lot. McIlroy and Woods, for example, make about six times as much money off the course as they do on it. Elite fan favorites like Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia make about twice as much off the course. The less marketable members of the world top 10, like Jason Day and Matt Kuchar, tend to outplay their endorsements. In Spieth's case, he appears to be in a middle.

Looking ahead
So how much money will he make off the course this season? That depends, but with his new AT&T deal, the total will be above the $4.5 million he made in 2013. Assuming Spieth continues to play well, his ceiling in the short term -- in terms of endorsement potential -- likely could mimic a Sergio Garcia or an Adam Scott. Both made upper seven figures from sponsors last year, but they're not close to Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy territory.

Ultimately, Spieth isn't either. If he starts winning majors that could change, but something tells me that's O.K. with the 20-year old from Texas. He's 13 years younger than the rest of the world's top 10, on average. And that -- youth -- is the real reason companies like Under Armour and AT&T are throwing money at him. As long as Spieth continues to play at a very high level, it won't stop any time soon.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Jake Mann has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nike and Under Armour. The Motley Fool owns shares of Nike and Under Armour. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information