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Masters Product Buzz: Fred’s Shoes

At 50 years old, Fred Couples entered today as the surprised leader after the first round of the Masters.

Although many of the cameras were focused on Tiger, it was hard to stay away from Couples, who was wearing something yesterday that had people talking more than anything Tiger had on.

ECCO 2010 Golf Street Premier Moonless Black Chili Shoe.
Source: ECCO
ECCO 2010 Golf Street Premier Moonless Black Chili Shoe.

They were his shoes called Golf Street Premier and they’re made by Ecco, who Couples has been with for the past four years.

Couples wore the shoes last month when he won the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic, but the Masters spotlight is obviously a different game.

The shoes look completely casual and they don’t have spikes, but they do have traction bars that allow them to be performance shoes, but also allow them to be worn off the course.

“Since he started wearing them earlier this year, we’ve had to start air-freighting additional stock in for our retailers on these shoes just to keep up with the demand right now,” said CB Tuite, the company’s general sales manager of its golf division.

Tuite said Couples is the perfect endorser because “he’s so fashionable and likeable and he appeals to all demographics.”

Couples wears the shoes without socks, thanks to the fact that there is a comfort fiber inlay sole in the shoe, but the shoe (which retails for $140) can be worn with socks as well, Tuite said.

In the first round, Couples also picked up $422,500 in equivalent advertising time for his sponsor Bridgestone, whose logo is on his hat, according to Eric Wright of sponsorship evaluation firm, Joyce Julius & Associates.

Bridgestone also cashed in thanks to Matt Kuchar, who was paired with Tiger Woods. Being with Tiger was worth $305,000 in branding for Bridgestone, Wright said.

Finally, there’s 60-year-old Tom Watson getting value for Adams Golf, which not only is on his hat, but he’s using their new Idea Pro Black CB1 Irons.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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