With Mike Weir’s 4-under par score shooting him up the leaderboard at the Masters, it was just blind luck that I happen to write a story for the National Post on the left-hander’s ascension to becoming a top corporate pitchman. The story appears in today’s Financial Post Weekend, as well as online here.
Here’s a taste:
It was five years ago this week that Mike Weir became not only the top professional golfer in Canadian history, but also among the best sports marketing vehicles in the country.
By tapping in a bogey on the first playoff hole of the tournament that acts for many as a ceremonial start to golf season, Weir became the first Canadian to take one of golf ‘s four major championship events. And as Tiger Woods hoisted the green jacket over Weir’s shoulders, it signalled the emergence of the Canadian from Bright’s Grove, Ont., as a corporate powerhouse, able to command multiyear sponsorship contracts worth upwards of $1-million annually.
“Mike has become a big brand and the Masters win was the key,” says Bob Weeks, editor of ScoreGolf magazine, which chronicles golf in Canada. “The comparison that comes to mind for me is Gordie Howe. He’s iconic even years after his career was finished. I think Mike will be the same way.”