Brooks Koepka is one of golf’s hottest commodities at the moment.
The newly-minted Word No. 1 is coming off of his fourth major championship in the last 24 months, and while he has an apparel deal in place with Nike, the lion’s share of his income is coming from his ridiculous on-course performance.
After claiming his second PGA Championship title in a row, Golf.com’s equipment expert Jonathan Wall talked to a pair of anonymous golf-equipment marketers about the value that Koepka is seeking in the endorsement and equipment space.
“Koepka’s just so unusual,” one marketer said. “For literally every player on the PGA Tour, their ego gets in the way at some point and they feel like they need to get paid for what’s in the bag. But Brooks hasn’t felt the need to cash-in. He seems pretty content to just let it ride and stick with what he’s playing. The plan is obviously working.”
Koepka has an eclectic bag setup that he’s been able to dial in since Nike left the hard-goods side of the industry in 2016. Koepka plays TaylorMade metalwoods, a Nike 3-iron, Mizuno irons (4-PW) and Titleist wedges, putter and ball.
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) May 20, 2019
“Let’s just say he signs an iron deal with one brand, a woods deal with another and a corporate deal for the bag,” a marketer said. “That’s 12 to 15 days he has to give up for shoots and corporate functions. Maybe he doesn’t want to give the days out. One event day is actually two because you might have to account for a travel day. It starts to add up.
“Plus, Nike goes off Official World Ranking points — they have a scale in place — to determine how much a guy is going to make, so he’s making a ton of money as it is for the hat and apparel. But he’s earned it.”
When it comes to a price, Koepka’s accomplishments lead off the negotiations.
“It’s probably a stupid number for a four-time major winner — somewhere in the $3 to $7 million range per year without the hat,” one of the anonymous marketers said. “That’s based on just his playing resume. Would he get that? Maybe not. But he’d probably get somewhere in the $3 to $4 million range. And if he were like Tiger and could sell his golf bag, that’s a couple million just for the bag.”
One thing is for sure: Koepka’s in no hurry to mess with a good thing.
Aside from the obvious tweaking and changing that would come with an equipment deal, the additional obligations that come along with it, i.e. photo shoots and corporate events.
Wall reported that an equipment manufacturer offered Koepka $50,000-$100,000 to simply use his likeness for a week’s worth of advertisements — no additional work or time; free money, so to speak — and he turned it down.
With over $24 million earned on the course in the last five years, plus lucrative endorsements from Nike and Michelob Ultra have Koepka living comfortably.
And given the performance his mixed bag of equipment has provided in the last three years, why mess with a good thing?