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The sponsorship fallouts continue for golfers who have elected to compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series. The latest company to cut ties with LIV Golfers is Mastercard.
Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell began their relationships with Mastercard in 2009 and 2011, respectively, but the company decided to “pause” the partnership due to their involvement with the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.
“We have paused the activation of our relationship with Ian and Graeme, recognizing the uncertainties around their standing with the PGA Tour,” Mastercard vice president of communications Seth Eisen said.
Mastercard isn’t the first company, nor will it be the last, to separate itself from anyone involved with LIV Golf.
Phil Mickelson lost a number of sponsorships following his fallout with the PGA Tour. RBC elected to cut ties with Dustin Johnson after he joined LIV, while Bryson DeChambeau’s sponsorship with Rocket Mortgage has been paused as well.
While the loss of sponsors is hurting the bottom lines for these players, the Saudis are doing their part to make up for it, and then some, for LIV golfers.
Dustin Johnson, for example, may have lost his deal with RBC when he was among the first wave of players to join LIV Golf, but he was reportedly paid a sign-on fee of $125 million. DeChambeau recently revealed he signed on for more than $125 million.
It’s safe to assume McDowell and Poulter receives some sort of sizable sign-on bonus when they joined LIV Golf as well.
Add the ginormous sign-on fees to the fact that each LIV golfer is receiving a guaranteed paycheck each tournament and the individual winner takes home $4 million each week, the bit of backlash from fans and sponsors can’t hurt too bad.