- Rolex, Aon and Epson are the most active brands across LPGA tournaments
- Lexi Thompson has more endorsement deals than any other golfer on the tour
The LPGA Marketing Partnerships Report for 2022/23 produced by the sponsorship data and advertising services firm found that the number of active brands across LPGA tournaments, official partners and women’s golf athletes has doubled since 2019, with the total now over 1,200. Over the same period, the number of brands partnering with LPGA Tour athletes has increased significantly by more than 1,000 per cent.
Other findings from the study revealed that LPGA tournaments had signed deals across 163 subcategories so far this year, which is slightly down on last year’s total of 165. The financial category was deemed the most active, having increased its activity by 12 per cent compared to the previous year. Other active sectors included food products, business services, consumer products and technology. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of LPGA partners were actively buying assets that promoted diversity and inclusion.
Watch brand Rolex is considered the most active brand across LPGA tournaments, ahead of Aon and Epson. In terms of most active brands that sponsored women’s golf athletes, Titleist, Callaway and Ping were ranked as the top-three. US star Lexi Thompson was deemed the most endorsed LPGA golfer with 19 deals, ahead of her compatriots Nelly Korda and Mexico’s Gaby López.
Social posts from those playing on the tour was discovered to record an average engagement rate of 4.6 per cent, which was found to be double the average of athletes in the five major North American sports leagues. Between 2022 and 2023, female golfers playing on the circuit averaged a follower growth of 15 per cent, indicating a steady rise.
“In a year marked by intense debate on golf’s future, the LPGA has quietly capitalized on the growing interest of the sport to forge a powerful business model, resulting in substantial gains in sponsorships,” said Bob Lynch, founder and chief executive of SponsorUnited.
“This uptick is due in part to a combination of factors: the unexpected role of the pandemic in sparking global interest, the rise of expansive social content platforms for players, and the escalating interest and impact of women’s sports partnerships.”
A previous SponsorUnited study last year indicated that the LPGA has more brand deals than any other women’s sports organisation, underlining its success in attracting sponsorships for its events.
The increased number of deals has helped the tour financially, to the extent that the ongoing 2023 season features the biggest ever prize purse in the circuit’s history. Across 33 events, a total pot of US$101.4 million is on offer, while the winner of the upcoming Women’s US Open is set to earn at least a record US$11 million.
With the organisation aiming to become more digital-savvy and increase fan engagement through partnerships with the likes of Next League and Legends, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more brands strike deals with those playing on the tour or at its events.