Mickelson Callaway Sign Endorsement Deal


OAKVILLE, Ontario, Canada -- Phil Mickelson, who last week severed endorsement ties with equipment maker Titleist, will play in this weeks Bell Canadian Open here as an endorser of Callaway Golf equipment.
Mickelson signed the deal over Labor Day weekend at Callaways test center in Carlsbad, Calif., said a Callaway spokesperson. A source close to the negotiations said the term exceeds five years. The parties arent discussing other specifics of the contract, but the deal Mickelson left at Titleist was said to be worth $4 million per year, including incentives.
Mickelson, whose three Top-3 finishes in major championships this year include a win at The Masters, ended his arrangement with Titleist 16 months early. He had reportedly wanted to renegotiate the deal, but Titleist refused, instead agreeing to a mutual separation.
When he tees it up at the Canadian Open, Mickelson will use a prototype Callaway HX golf ball. He will also put a prototype model of a Callaway Fusion driver into play. That club wont be ready for the public until late 2004 or early 2005, the Callaway spokesperson said. Mickelson will use Big Bertha 3- and 4-woods. He will wear Callaway shoes and gloves, and will carry a Callaway-logoed bag as well.
But he wont be using Callaway irons, wedges or putters right away. Rather, Mickelson will work with Callaway master club designer Roger Cleveland to find irons and special-purpose clubs that suit him.
The open question on irons, wedges and putters raises a number of options for Callaway, which is now in charge of three major golf club brands: Callaway, Odyssey (putters), and Ben Hogan. Roger Cleveland generally designs clubs under the Callaway brand, and is well-known for his work in wedges. But Mickelson could have his choice of Callaways cavity-back iron models, such as the Steelhead X-16 Pro Series, or the forged Hogan models that are popular with some elite players, such as the Apex 50.
Callaway is Mickelsons third major equipment endorser. He had a long association with Yonex in the 1990s, and signed with Titleist in 2000. Unlike some other endorsers, such as Tiger Woods (Nike) and Vijay Singh (Cleveland Golf), Mickelson does not wear his equipment companys logo on the front of his visor; that space has already been sold to consulting firm Bearing Point. (Instead, Mickelson will have a Callaway logo on the side of his visor and on his shirt sleeve.) But Mickelsons notoriety and aggressive style of play has allowed him to adjust the bag-hat-shirt logo troika used in so many other golfer-manufacturer relationships.
Neither Mickelson, who arrived here today, nor Steve Loy, his agent with Gaylord Sports Management of Scottsdale, Ariz., was available for comment.
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