In its Tuesday editions, the Toronto Globe and Mail cited industry experts as saying Weir was in line for a potential $10-million-a-year windfall.
Rocky Hambric of Hambric Sports Management in Dallas said Tuesday that figure might be a little high. But why quibble over a few zeroes?
He (Weir) is going to have more money than hell ever be able to spend, Hambric said.
Hambric added that the $10 million number probably wont be realized in one year. But, he said, Weir is likely to realize much more than that, trading off his Masters victory, over the course of his career.
The key, said David Winkle, who works with Hambric and represents 1996 PGA champion Mark Brooks, is marketability. And, he said, avoiding the pitfalls is crucial, too. The player that chases the money at the expense of his golf game is asking for trouble. The temptations are many and they are lucrative. Brooks head hadnt even hit the pillow at Valhalla in 1996 after beating Kenny Perry in a Sunday playoff before a call came through from South Africa with an invitation from the people at Sun City for their event there.
Weirs marketability is excellent. He is young (32), good-looking in a clean-cut kind of Madison Ave. way. And he is Canadian. That country is golf crazy. And he is their first male major champion.
I asked Hambric to rate Weirs appeal to potential endorsers on the Tiger Woods scale. It works like this: If Woods is a 10 on a 1-10 basis, what is Weir.
Id give him an 8.0 in the United States and a 9.99 in Canada. Hambric said.
The Globe and Mail reported that bonus money from Weirs equipment company contracts will be worth $2 million alone. Those companies include Titleist, TaylorMade and Footjoy. Harder to estimate is what winning the Masters will procure for him from Canadian Bell and Sears Canada, a company that just launched a golf accessory line Weir Golf. Just know this: The people at that company are feeling very good about their timing right now.
My family will still come first, Weir said in the early hours after his win. I will not change that way.
Last year Weir failed to finish in the top 10. This year he has won three times and it isnt even May. Woods trails him on the money list.
He will be the focal point of success for an entire country, Hambric said. And there wont be the urgency to cash in quick that, say, Mark OMeara faced in 1998 when he won two majors at the relatively advanced age of 41.
And heres the kicker. Because of the influence of hockey in Canada, close to 25 percent of the countrys golfers are left-handed. Weir, of course, is left-handed. Compare that figure to an estimated eight or nine percent of left-handed golfers in the United States. Can a line of Mike Weir left-handed golf clubs with a maple leaf logo be far behind?