On September 25, 2016, the professional golf industry and its fans lost one of the greatest golfers in history. Nicknamed The King, Arnold Palmer played a critical role in the golf industry as a trailblazer, changing the way the world viewed the sport of golf.
During Palmer’s career, spanning more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles, 7 major titles, the PGA Lifetime Achievement award, and became one of the first inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. While his accolades are remarkable, Palmer’s role in the golf industry was more considerable than that of a golfer, in which he earned $7 million. He devoted his life to the sport of golf by designing hundreds of golf courses around the world, making golf a televised event, co-founding The Golf Channel, owning the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, among others.
At the time of his death, Palmer’s net worth was $700 million, making him one of the top ten richest athletes in the world. As is the case with many athletes, he accumulated the majority of his wealth beyond his athleticism. As already mentioned, he delved into a variety of avenues that involved golf beyond playing on the course. However, one of the biggest ways he earned his riches was through endorsements. In fact, he is among the top three athletes to make the most money via endorsements, falling behind only Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods at $1.3 billion. His charisma, skill, and likeability made him a top choice for promoting products. Companies he worked with include the likes of Coca-Cola, United Airlines, Westin, Holiday Inn, Ford, Pennzoil, and many others. At the time of his death, Palmer was still endorsing products!
In addition to his earnings as a professional golfer, his endorsements, and his golf course designing projects, Palmer launched wine and apparel products. He also had a drink named after him, in which the Arizona Beverage company distributes today, earning $200 million in 2015 alone.
As with the death of any notable athlete or celebrity, value tends to rise in the short term due to nostalgia. Nobody likes to lose a person; therefore, fans grab as much product as they can immediately following a death so they can hold on to something in remembrance. In Palmer’s case, his wine, apparel, and tea are likely to experience a spike in sales. In addition, he has a book that is set for release on October 25. Sales are likely to be higher than anticipated as a result of his death. In fact, the book soared to #1 on Amazon at the news of his death, despite the fact that it hadn’t been released yet.
Palmer leaves behind a big footprint in the golf industry. His name, products, and legacy will live on for years as a result, contributing to his value long after his death.