You may or may not have heard of Ryan Moore. He’s a pro golfer who recently won his first tournament, the Wyndham Championship.
If you haven’t heard of him, you’re not alone – he’s still ranked 120th in the world and isn’t one of the first names you think of when you think “pro golfer”.
Yet despite his relative anonymity, Ryan Moore may just have made himself my new favourite sportsman. All because of $300,000.
Where Ryan differs from most other sportspeople, and certainly every other golfer it would seem, is that he refuses to be endorsed by any of the name brands that adorn other golfers. He buys his own clothes and golfing equipment, and often these are a mish-mash of some of the cheapest brands around.
It’s led to sports marketing companies questioning why Ryan is avoiding their pitches, when pro golfers have at least one brand sponsorship to their name. According to Ryan’s manager (who’s also his brother), it’s simple: “He doesn’t want to be a billboard.”
The $300,000 that I mentioned earlier? The projection of what Ryan could earn from sponsors – $200,000 a year for cap sponsorship, $20,000 for a chest logo, and $50,000 for a branded golf bag. And why is he my new favourite sportsman?
Simple. When mostly everyone around him is signing up for the big bucks, whether they like the brand or not, Ryan Moore is staying true to himself and showing that money isn’t always everything. His decision means that sports marketers may have to reconsider whether tapping up folks to be the face of a brand will continue the way it has or if it has to look at new ways to sell. And anything that helps move marketing and branding forward into new thinking can never be a bad thing.
Of course, this is the now. With Ryan winning his first tournament, his stock will go up and the offers will rise with it. Whether he’ll remain as loyal to non-branding when the million dollar endorsement offers start materializing is another thing. But for now… he’s definitely my new favourite sportsman.
How about you – is Ryan doing it right or will the marketing dollars win out?
photo credit: pga.com