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Daly Gives Adidas A Free Ride

Thursday, 15 Jul 2010 | 4:28 PM ET
US golfer John Daly watches his drive from the 15th tee during his opening round on the first day of the British Open Golf Championship.
Peter Muhly | AFP | Getty Images
US golfer John Daly watches his drive from the 15th tee during his opening round on the first day of the British Open Golf Championship.

Given today’s six-under par performance at the British Open,John Daly’scareer isn’t done yet, but when it is, it will go down in sports marketing lore.

In the history of sports, there has never been an athlete that has been sponsored by more companies and yet, for Daly, it has been either feast or famine.

While many point to Daly’s flashy clothing deal with Loudmouth Golf, the 44-year-old wore a sweater with an adidas logo on it for Thursday’s first round at St. Andrews even though he no longer has a deal with the TaylorMade-adidas family.

“He’s not under contract with us anymore,” said Christa McNamara, spokesperson for TaylorMade-adidas. “No one on our team knows where he got the sweater. It could be 10 years old or he could have bought it at the merchandise tent.”

Although he’s not receiving any income from the company, McNamara said he plays with TaylorMade equipment and recently switched to the Rossa Corza Ghost Putter.

If Daly somehow stays consistent, those who pay him — and perhaps even those that don’t (adidas, Diet Coke and Marlboro) — could really cash in.

Loudmouth probably has the most to gain.

Daly told the press that the best part about the pants is that “you can get dressed in the dark, because every shirt is going to match.”

Then there’s Big Red, the leading cream soda in the country, that is on his golf bag and his left shirt collar has the logo of All Sport, the carbonated sports drink that has all but disappeared since Pepsi sold it after acquiring Quaker Oats and competitor Gatorade.

There’s Speedwear, a garment manufacturer, on his right shirt collar. There’s equipment supplier Luber Brotherson his hat. And Set Scramble, a tournament in September where average players can advance to play against the pros, is advertised on his left shirt sleeve.

What brands has Daly marketed over the years?

My researcher James Kaminsky has counted almost 40 different brands since he won the 1991 PGA Championship, including Hooters, which dismissed him some time after he got drunk at the very establishment.

While I don’t know how much each brand paid, I’ve decided to rank them based on how much exposure they got from Daly:

1. Hooters
2. Loudmouth Golf
3. The Lion (Daly’s own brand)
4. Trimspa
5. Dunkin’ Donuts
6. Reebok
7. Callaway
8. 84 Lumber
9. TaylorMade-adidas/Maxfli
10. Wilson
11. All-Sport
12. Titleist
13. Pinnacle
14. Ping
15. Mark Christopher Chevrolet
16. Big Red
17. Dunlop
18. Sobe
19. Hippo
20. United Sports Technologies
21. University of Arkansas
22. Adams Golf
23. Set Scramble
24. Luber Brothers
25. Blue Collar Golf
26. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
27. Hathaway Mixes
28. Antigua
29. EA Sports
30. Winn Grips
31. Sportsline USA
32. 3DO
33. Gripmaster
34. Pilot Travel Centers
35. BD Managed Services

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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