Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes reported that in March only 19 percent of Americans could identify Spieth by name or image. After his Masters victory, that number jumped to 36 percent, an increase of 85 percent.
“Repucom measures individual attributes as part of its polling and Spieth is now the highest-ranked athlete in five of the eight attributes it tracks,” Badenhausen wrote. “He tops the charts for aspiration, breakthrough, endorsement, trendsetter and trust.”
In the aspiration attribute, Spieth ranks fourth among the thousands of celebrities that Repucom tracks, behind only Tom Hanks, Bill Gates and Kate Middleton.
“These numbers, while impressive and meteoric, will fall off over time,” Repucom executive Peter Laatz told Badenhausen. “The attribute scores will come back a little, but I don’t think they will fall dramatically.”
The bottom line is, well, his bottom line. His financial future, already flourishing with a portfolio that includes AT&T and Under Armour, is at least as bright as his future in golf.
“Brands want to keep their risk low and have as high an upside as possible when they are looking to put their mark on people,” Laatz said. “This is a guy you want to pile into from a marketing standpoint.”
If you don't know what FootGolf is, check out our helpful explainer. Basically, you play a shortened golf course with enlarged holes by kicking a soccer ball and keeping score like you would in golf. And apparently, people are digging it, especially that "M-word" sect the golf industry is desperately trying to reach.
"Then it dawned on me that we are struggling so much to bring the millennial generation into the game of golf," Mike Woods, PGA director at Haggin Oaks in Sacramento told Reuters. "Yet that's the absolute target market for soccer."
After initially finding FootGolf silly, Woods had it added at Haggin Oaks in 2013 to become the fifth certified FootGolf course in the country. And the golf complex has been reaping the benefits since.
Woods said Haggin Oaks booked 9,120 rounds that first year. That number has stayed consistent despite eight other local courses joining the FootGolf fray. Woods said Haggin Oaks netted $186,000 in revenue from just FootGolf in 2014.
For course operators, the beauty of adding FootGolf is that it doesn't cost much. Reuters says the investment can be as low as $5,000 and that there are currently more than 400 certified FootGolf courses in the U.S.
"FootGolf is to the golf industry what snowboarding was to the ski industry," said Laura Balestrini, president of the American FootGolf League.
If you've tried it, that's a pretty good comparison. FootGolf doesn't have much appeal for serious golfers, but it seems to be a popular activity for bachelor parties, and it can be a way for a parent to play golf while spending time with their kid (A FootGolf course is usually part of a regular golf course). And yes, it's also just an excuse to go crazy with your best goal-scoring celebration.
Check out this $200 million Florida listing that includes multiple practice greens and a miniature golf course
Probably not, but you might enjoy seeing just how awesome this property is. Named "Gemini" (you know it's a sick property when it has an official name, especially one like Gemini), the family compound encompasses 16 acres on a barrier island just south of Palm Beach.
The main house measures 62,200 (can't forget that extra 200!) square feet and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. There's also a guest house that faces the Intracoastal and the two structures are connected by an air-conditioned and furnished tunnel. That alone might make this the most jaw-dropping piece of real estate on the market, but there's more.
The compound also includes a seven-bedroom house, two four-bedroom "cottages," a pool, a pier, a basketball court, a tennis court, and a golf practice area with two greens.
But while we've seen those type of amenities in luxury listings before, here's a new one: A miniature golf course. With a model train set running through it. Amazing.
The Wall Street Journal describes that last feature as being "for children." Ha. That would be the first thing we'd check out if we ever visited.
“Thanks to Jordan, our company grew up today," Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Spieth has a 10-year contract with Under Armour, which outfits him head to toe with no other company’s logo allowed.
“He was challenged by the greatest players in the world on the biggest stage, looked them straight in the eye and never blinked,” Plank said. “This is a global event and he's the leading trending athlete in the world right now.”
Under Armour is the anchor in Spieth’s endorsement portfolio that also includes AT&T, Titleist, Rolex, Perfect Sense Digital, NetJets and SuperStroke Grips. Sixteen Under Armour logos appeared on his clothes, hat and shoes on Sunday, eight on his shoes alone, according to the ESPN.com story.
Spieth earned $6 million off the course in 2014, according to the Golf Digest 50, Ron Sirak’s annual list of the highest earners in golf. Spieth, who ranked 16th in total earnings last year, could jump to fifth, Sirak wrote in the wake of Spieth's Masters victory. The top five currently are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
How to reconcile these disparate stories, as well as the fact that it has been illegal to build new courses in China since 2004?
“From the outside, China is very complicated like that,” David Lee, a consultant on golf course development in China, said.
Lee, who also consults with Golf Digest China, explained that the courses with which Woods reportedly will be involved, the first of which is Pacific Links International’s Tian’an Holiday Golf Club, are not new, but will be remodeled. The Tian’an Holiday Golf Club is a 27-hole facility that will become an 18-hole course, Lee said.
Pacific Links International plans to buy a dozen courses in and around Beijing, “so with one membership you can play all these reciprocal golf courses,” Lee said. “With Tiger’s name they think they will be able to sell a lot of memberships.”
Lee also believes that Pacific Links International intends to bring professional events there and that Woods’ fee likely requires his participation.
As for the closing of courses, the Tian’an Holiday Golf Club “wasn’t on the list of courses in trouble,” Lee said. The 66 courses closed were built after the 2004 ban that, Reuters reported, was “imposed to protect China's shrinking land and water resources in a country home to a fifth of the world's population but which has just 7 percent of its water.”
“It’s all very, very confusing,” Lee said.
Last week, the NGCOA announced that it has recognized the American FootGolf League as the governing body for the sport of FootGolf in U.S.
“Some people think we’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid or doing something strange,” Mike Tinkey, deputy CEO of the NGCOA, said. “But what we’ve found since 2013 is that FootGolf has grown virally in our membership. It’s bringing in new customers, a lot of millennials, families and women, and they’re spending money. And their ancillary spend is very strong. It’s sort of energized a lot of facilities.”
The American FootGolf League was officially recognized, Tinkey said, for its history — it introduced the sport in the U.S. - and for “its support for owners,” Tinkey said. “We felt its heart in the right place and it provides tools to help owners understand it.”
It was welcome news at the American FootGolf League, obviously. “Our relationship with the NGCOA further validates the sport of FootGolf and the role of the AFGL in growing it in the United States,” Roberto Balestrini, founder of the league, said in a news release. “We’ve got great relationships with many of the leading golf course operators already and look forward to continuing to expand and introduce FootGolf to new golf facilities in 2015.”
The entry cost for FootGolf is relatively low, Tinkey said, “from under $3,000 to $5,000. And it’s bringing in tens of thousands of dollars up to a hundred-thousand dollars in one case at an 18-hole facility.”
There are two types of owners — those who would like to see the FootGolf players segue into golf and those who don’t care.
“I think in the main we’re interested in studying, as an association, whether there is a crossover to some form of traditional golf. I think we’ll be looking at that.”
Haggin Oaks in Sacramento is among those courses that have embraced FootGolf, as reported here.