Over the Labor Day weekend, Phil Mickelson, the #4 ranked golfer in the world, signed an endorsement deal with Callaway Golf to use a prototype Callaway HX ball and a prototype model of Callaway’s Fusion driver at this week’s Canadian Bell Open.
This move comes just a week after prematurely dumping a Titleist contract. Mickelson had been with Titleist the past four years.
According to various reports, the Fusion driver, the HX ball and the current versions of the Big Bertha 3- and 4-woods will be the only Callaway items in the bag this week for Mickelson though he will be wearing Callaway footwear and gloves. Irons, wedges and a putter will be determined at a later date after consultation with Callaway club designer Roger Cleveland, the man behind Cleveland wedges, a must-have for many tour players.
Because of a deal already in place for logo placement on the front of Mickelson’s visor with consulting firm Bearing Point, the Callaway logo will instead adorn Mickelson’s shirt sleeve, the side of his visor, and his golf bag. This is a slight variation from the triple play of bag-hat-shirt logo placement that accompanies most manufacturer-player relationships.
After renegotiation attempts with Titleist failed, Mickelson was let out of his deal 16 months early. According to an AP report, Phil took some heat from Titleist last fall regarding a phone call to a Callaway representative who had helped his brother with some equipment. Mickelson praised Callaway for its golf ball and driver, and Callaway officials were said to have played the voice mail for its salesmen at a national meeting.
Specifics of the Callaway contract are unknown at this point, but $4 million per year including incentives is rumoured with the deal exceeding five years.