Bryson DeChambeau’s Defection to LIV Golf Costs Him Bridgestone Deal
It's a good thing DeChambeau was paid more than $125 million to ditch the PGA Tour for LIV, according to him
Whether or not he makes the cut at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland later this week, LIV Golf Series defector Bryon DeChambeau has already been cut as a sponsor by golf ball manufacturer Bridgestone for his involvement with the Saudi-backed tour, as first reported by Golf.com.
DeChambeau is not the first player who has lost out on an endorsement deal after jumping ship from the PGA Tour to join Greg Norman and his ilk and he likely won’t be the last. Nor is it the first sponsorship that the 28-year-old golfer has personally lost as Rocket Mortgage also rescinded its agreement with DeChambeau following his departure from the PGA Tour.
It likely won’t end up hurting DeChambeau too much as he’s previously hinted he was paid more than $125 million to ditch the PGA Tour for LIV (“It’s a 4½-year deal, I can definitely tell you that, and a lot of it was upfront, which is great”), but being cut by Bridgestone is just more evidence of how the scales continue to tilt against the players who’ve jumped ship from the world’s top pro golf tour.
“The PGA Tour is an extremely important part of professional golf, and Bridgestone has a sports marketing relationship with this highly visible series of tournaments,” Bridgestone said in a statement. “In considering that Bryson DeChambeau will no longer be participating in these events, Bridgestone and Bryson have agreed to end their brand ambassador partnership.”
Signed by Bridgestone when he turned pro in April of 2016 and then re-signed by the company in April of 2020, DeChambeau won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot using the company’s Tour B X ball. “I have a much deeper role in mind with Bridgestone. I want to be a bigger part of their R&D process and help develop golf ball technology for the future of the game while pushing the limits of golf ball designs to benefit the full spectrum of players,” DeChambeau said after re-signing in 2020. “I feel at home there because of their genuine commitment to science and technology.”
Despite losing DeChambeau in what has been described as an “amicable” split, Bridgestone’s sponsorship roster still includes Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, Jason Day, Lexi Thompson and Matt Kuchar. The world’s 33rd-ranked golfer, DeChambeau may still use a Bridgestone ball at the Open Championship out of force of habit or superstition, but he won’t be paid for it.
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