Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

Top Ten Most Active Brands in Golf Sponsorship

Top Ten Most Active Brands in Golf Sponsorship

The best golfers in the world are significantly rich. But did you know that they make most of their money off-course from brand sponsorships and not tournament winnings, as one might expect? The beauty of being a brand ambassador is that you smile to the bank even when you don’t win on the course, provided that you meet the set agreement by, for example, wearing the company’s apparel or using their equipment. The top athletes globally earn notorious sums of money through endorsements, and below we look at ten of the most lucrative and active golf sponsorships.

Top 10 Biggest Sponsors in Golf


U.S. apparel and multinational athletic footwear corporation Nike is one of the top brands in kit supplier partnerships with leagues, teams, competitions, and high-profile athlete endorsements. 

Most notable deal the company has had in golf is a $40 million deal that the company cemented with Tiger Woods when he turned pro in 1996, which has been significantly re-upped since then. 

Additionally, Nike signed North Irishman Rory Mcilroy in 2013 in a $20m per year deal for equipment and apparel but reduced it to $10m per year for kit endorsement only in 2017.


Luxury wristwatch brand Rolex dominates golf, especially in major tournaments such as the British and U.S. Opens.

A significant deal is the company’s partnership with the PGA European Tour in 2013 valued at $192.95 million for ten years.

In addition, the company boasts several personal sponsorships with golfers such as Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods.


Golf equipment design and manufacturing company TaylorMade is among the titans in sports partnership, notably inking a $100m deal with golfer Rory McIlroy in 2017.

In the mega equipment endorsement valued at $10m yearly for ten years, McIlroy plays with 14 TaylorMade clubs, the brand’s golf ball, and rocks a TaylorMade bag to market the company thoroughly.

Other golfers to partner with the top firm include Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose.


Golf attracts high-income fans, and luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz understands this concept clearly. It targets top-rated golf events and major tournaments to engage its relevant, affluent customer base.

Mercedes has also partnered with several golfers as brand ambassadors, such as So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, and Bernhard Langer.


Golf equipment manufacturer Callaway appreciates the value of having top golfers as brand ambassadors and proved that in 2017 when it secured a $40m sponsorship deal with Phil Mickelson for five years.

Mickelson was required to showcase the Callaway brand logo on his golf bag, the side of his visor, and his shirt sleeve. Unfortunately, the deal was cut short in Feb 2022.

Other golfers to benefit from the company’s endorsements include Branden Grace, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, and Chris Kirk.