Golf prodigy reportedly will soon go proSponsored by Samsung, equipment and apparel provided by Nike and management done by the William Morris Agency.
Not bad for a teenage girl.
The three firms aren’t the only ones, however, who are currently trying to negotiate multi-million-dollar deals with golf prodigy Michelle Wie. The Los Angeles Times and Golf Week magazine reported that Wie would turn professional some time around Oct. 11 this year, her 16th birthday. Golf World magazine, ESPN.com, and the Associated Press have also run stories implying that Wie is on the verge of going pro.
Wie will sign endorsement deals with three companies, one believed to be Nike, worth an estimated $8 million, Golf World reported in its recent edition.
ESPN added fuel to the fire by reporting that Wie is also negotiating a contract with an Asia-based electronics company, assumed to be Samsung, and an airline, in addition to her deal with Nike. An airline sponsorship would provide transportation for Wie, who lives in Hawaii. One of her reasons for choosing Samsung ― if indeed she has ― was that with her Korean ethnicity and the popularity of the LPGA Tour in Asia, the market there is a "wide-open frontier," ESPN added.
Wie will reportedly accept an invitation to participate in the men's Casio World Open on the Japan PGA Tour, which begins Nov. 17; with her newly-acquired pro status, she will receive an appearance fee.
Neither Wie's father, B.J. Wie, a professor at the University of Hawaii, nor the companies supposedly involved in the deals would talk about the negotiations. Mr. Wie told the Associated Press in a recent interview that nothing has been decided. He added that he would proceed carefully on his daughter's behalf, saying that once, when caddying for his daughter, he called out the wrong distance. “If I make another mistake, my daughter would reproach me for life,” he said.
“I will be unable to speak about any business-related matters until the completion of all deals,” he told Gold World, acknowledging that Michelle Wie is indeed in talks to go pro.
by Chung Jeh-won