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Phil Mickelson Abruptly Cuts Ties With Callaway After 20 Long Years; Marks the Second Biggest Exit After Tiger Woods

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The end of an era! Another shocker has hit the golf world through LIV Golf captain Phil Mickelson. Merely weeks before the Saudi League’s return in 2024, Mickelson has announced his shocking departure from Callaway, a brand he’s been with since 2004. Lefty took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share his sudden split with the sporting giant.

“I am no longer sponsored by Callaway Golf but have maintained a great relationship with everyone there,” wrote Mickelson in his announcement. Callaway offered the 53-year-old a lucrative contract around 20 years ago, and as per reports, Mickelson was reaping massive benefits from the partnership. He received approximately $42 million from Callaway annually, making it one of his biggest signed contracts, second only to his $200 million LIV Golf agreement. In light of that, this sudden announcement comes as one of the biggest A-Lister exits in the golf world, following Tiger Woods’ Nike shocker earlier this month. However, Lefty parted ways with a heartwarming gesture.

phil mickelson

The LIV Golf star used his exit announcement to endorse his beloved former sponsor one last time. In his message, Mickelson sang big praises of Callaway’s Chrome Tour X ball, dubbing it “the fastest ball off the driver.” He even urged his fans to try out the brand-new Callaway product, cementing his stand that even amid an exit, he shared a good bond with the company. Why wouldn’t he, seeing as it stuck with him through arguably the most turbulent time in his career?

In February 2022, Mickelson made his infamous “scary mother*******” comment about the Saudi Tour right before his defection. While his other sponsors, like KPMG and Amstel Light, immediately cut ties with him, Callaway – with whom Lefty had renewed his contract in 2017 – gave the golf pro a chance. They put their partnership on hold and decided to “re-evaluate” the situation instead.

“Callaway does not condone Phil Mickelson’s comments, and we were very disappointed in his choice of words,” read the brand’s official statement on the matter. “We have agreed to pause our partnership and will re-evaluate our ongoing relationship at a later date.” Following this statement, there had been no major update, and Lefty continued using Callaway equipment on the course. That is, until today. And now, the six-time major winner has added to the narrative of brand exits this year.

Phil Mickelson is the latest addition to the ‘Sponsor-Exit’ frenzy

phil mickelson

The golf community came into 2024 with an air of dreaded anticipation surrounding it. Why the dread? For quite some time, there were rumors about Tiger Woods and Nike ending their partnership after almost 30 years together, one that contributed around $500 million to Woods’ earnings. However, Jason Day beat Woods to a Nike exit, leaving behind a reported $10 million-a-year deal to join Malbon Golf.

After Tiger Woods followed suit a couple of weeks ago, Phil Mickelson joined the party with his split with Callaway. In 2017, he signed a lifetime endorsement deal with the golfing giant. But after his controversial comments from February 2022, Mickelson’s image was removed from Callaway’s roster on their website. Even though there weren’t any other signs of an impending split thereafter, this could’ve been a sign.

Interestingly, Callaway is continuing their robust relations with Jon Rahm, who, in his defection announcement, confirmed that the sporting giant had his back even through his sudden switch. Mickelson is now the latest addition to the big names who have surprisingly made brand changes this year, indicating a trend that is expected to continue into 2024.

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