Jan 16, 2020

Endorsement money for caddies

Photo: Ben Jared/Getty Images

Starting this season on the European Tour, caddies — who are on camera almost as much as the players, if you think about it — will be able to earn money through endorsement deals.

Why it matters: Allowing caddies to be paid to have logos on items like their hats, bag straps and towels could significantly improve their financial stability, which is currently tied to player performance.

  • "As it stands now, a player pays the caddie a weekly fee, mostly to cover expenses, and a percentage of his earnings," notes NYT's Paul Sullivan.

What they're saying: "This is not for the guy who caddies for the seventh-ranked player in the world, since he does very nicely," Sean Russell, the chairman of the European Tour Caddies Association, told NYT. "This is for the guy who caddies for the 157th-ranked player."

  • "If you do the math, that caddie probably earned 12,000 euros (about $13,000) in bonus payments over the fixed fee for the week that covers expenses. If you're earning a 12,000-euro bonus you'd be better off stacking shelves."

The backdrop: Since 2014, Valspar has sponsored the PGA Tour's Caddie Hat Program, which allows caddies to earn money by wearing the paint company's logo on their hats. The European Tour's approach expands on that, freeing up caddies to promote more than just paint cans and wood stain.

The bottom line: If some portion of a golfer's sponsorship value is tied to his camera time and TV exposure, then the person standing next to him has value, too.

Go deeper: Joel Embiid becomes 16th current NBA player with signature shoe

Go deeper

The Premier Golf League is approaching top players about a mysterious new tour

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several players and agents have been approached about participating in a new star-driven global golf tour called the Premier Golf League (PGL), according to multiple reports.

Details: The tour would consist of 18 events and feature 48-player fields, 54-hole competitions (so three days with no cut) and $10 million purses. The mysterious entity behind the tour is also reportedly exploring a team concept similar to Formula One racing, plus an identical women's format.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

The decline of the basketball shoe

Illustration:Aïda Amer/Axios

Basketball shoe sales are down for the fourth consecutive year, and the industry is being crushed by the athleisure wave.

By the numbers: Basketball shoe sales currently represent less than 5% of the athletic shoe market, a huge drop from their 13% market share in 2014, per research firm NPD.

Go deeperArrowFeb 13, 2020 - Sports

Astros scandal claims third manager

Carlos Beltrán, the only player named in MLB's investigation of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, is out as Mets manager, departing less than three months into his tenure and becoming the third manager in four days to lose his job.

Why it matters: Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training in 27 days, and the Astros, Red Sox and Mets don't have managers. What we've witnessed this week is unprecedented — and the fallout has only just begun.Houston Astros fire manager, GM after suspension for sign-stealing

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020