Arnold Palmer is considered as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport's history. The Amercian professional golfer had died 13 months back at the age of 87. However, a recent report by Forbes reveals that the '62 PGA Tour winner who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, continues to earn 40 million dollars annually, even now!
Arnold Palmer is considered as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport’s history. The Amercian professional golfer had died 13 months back at the age of 87. However, a recent report by Forbes reveals that the ’62 PGA Tour winner who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, continues to earn 40 million dollars annually, even now! Palmer earned $3.6 million in prize money during 52 years on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, but his business prowess pushed his career earnings to $875 million, including endorsements, appearances, licensing and course design fees (it was $1.4 billion adjusted for inflation).
This might have left you baffled. But, what makes Palmer one of the highest earning athletes even after his death is his off-field legacy. He had a massive impact on the world of golf befitting his nickname of ‘The King’. He pioneered modern sports marketing with IMG’s Mark McCormack, helped found the Golf Channel, designed more than 300 golf courses around the world and lent his name to apparel, beverages and more.
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As per the Forbes report, he remains a hot commodity even after his death with estimated earnings of $40 million over the past 12 months for his estate. Only Michael Jackson ($75 mn) earned more among deceased celebrities. There are still more than 400 stores selling Arnold Palmer-branded apparel in Asia with plans to move into new markets like Thailand and Vietnam. His estate has agreements with 39 licensees.
Arnold Palmer had launched his line of beverages in 2001 based on Palmer’s preferred blend of ice tea and lemonade. It now produces over 400 million cans annually of the line and with the drinks focused on the 13-to-35-year-old consumer, 60% to 70% of drinkers associate the Palmer name with the drink instead of the golfer’s accomplishments on the course.
Even companies like MasterCard and Textron have renewed their agreements with Palmer’s estate over the past year. The relationship between Rolex and Palmer is one of the oldest in sports and celebrates 50 years in 2017.
The legend continues to give back by helping the health and wellness of children through philanthropic causes like the Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando.