MIZUNO PUTS NEW MARKER DOWN ON TOUR
2020 pathway set for long term product and player development
ATLANTA — With 12 season iron wins across the PGA, Korn Ferry and European Tour last year and a driver victory at the Honda Classic, Mizuno announced six new athletes who will join returning-athletes, Luke Donald, Keith Mitchell and Chris Kirk, to complete its 2020 roster. It unveils a bold new vision and commitment to identifying and growing new talent rather than bidding for well-established players – a strategy designed to secure its long-term position in the game.
Among the host of upcoming, hungry new players signed for 2020 includes Bo Hoag (USA), Rhein Gibson (Australia), Stephen Fisk (USA), Adrien Saddier (France), Scott Gregory (UK) and Tom Gandy (UK). All six players have played with Mizuno equipment long before signing an official deal and will be adding Mizuno’s new ST200 drivers to their bags – two criteria that will become the signature of Mizuno’s professional recruitment moving forward.
“Mizuno will now only sign players who want to work with us on product development and put more than just irons to the test,” said Jeremy Galbreth, Director of Golf for Mizuno USA. “That means starting with younger players who haven’t developed too many preferences and are open-minded. Just two seasons ago and despite a surge in unpaid usage of our irons, Mizuno had no drivers at all in play at the Sony Open. This week we had five drivers in play, which shows the progress we’re already making with this approach.”
In addition, Mizuno is giving its elite amateurs a pathway to the professional game. In the past, Mizuno has nurtured some of the world’s very best players through their amateur careers – but lost them the moment they turned professional.
“Now if you’re with Mizuno as an elite amateur, we’ll have a deal waiting for you when you turn pro,” added Jeff Cook, Mizuno’s PGA Tour Manager. “Agents will know from 2020 that Mizuno is a great option for a young player hitting the paid ranks – no need to switch equipment. Having a serial amateur winner like Stephen Fisk on board is just the start. We’ll be patient and let him evolve – we’re playing a long game.”
The plan is a stark contrast to the marketing norm of signing the best-known players and hyping the deal. Yet, Mizuno believes that is what ultimately will set the brand apart.
“Golfers are intelligent and do their research,” said Chris Voshall, Product Manager for Mizuno. “They can see straight through a top 10 player suddenly signing to play a new brand of equipment for the first time. The public put a lot more faith in elite players who have stuck with their equipment over their careers, or the ones who give up endorsement completely to have a free choice of equipment. We’re essentially going back to basics – providing evidence for the public that Mizuno equipment stacks up under intense pressure. After all, what’s tougher than playing to establish a long-term career in the game? Plus, when a Mizuno staff ambassador next wins on tour or turns up in the top 10, we’ll be able to say with absolute authenticity that our equipment had something to do with it.”
Hoag and Gibson are both Korn Ferry winners in 2019 and now plying their trade on the PGA Tour. Fisk – also in the US tour – recently converted to the professional ranks was the 2019 Walker Cup winner. On the European Tour, Mizuno has recruited the talented Frenchman Adrien Saddier, young Englishman Scott Gregory – winner of the 2016 Amateur Championship, and Tom Gandy – fresh from his first professional win in 2019.
At a special event at the 2020 PGA SHOW in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, January 22, Mizuno will share further details on the new direction at 1 p.m. with a special guest appearance by Chris Kirk.
About Mizuno USA:
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in greater Atlanta, Ga.
PGA Tour / 2020 season
Luke Donald – ST200G driver, MP20 irons, T20 wedges
Keith Mitchell – ST200 driver, MP20 irons
Rhein Gibson – ST200 driver, JPX919 Tour irons, T20 wedges
Bo Hoag – ST200 driver, JPX919 irons (3-pw)
Chris Kirk – ST200X driver, MP20 HMB (4&5), MP20 MMC (6-9), T20 wedges
Lucas Glover – JPX919 Tour irons, T7 wedges
Adam Schenk – MP20 MMC 4-8 irons, MP18SC 9,pw T7 wedges
Stephen Fisk – ST200 driver, JPX919 Tour irons (3-pw), T20 wedges
European Tour / 2020 season
Adrien Saddier – ST200 driver and 3 wood, MP20
Scott Gregory – ST200 driver and 3 wood, MP20 & T20 wedges
Tom Gandy – ST200 and 3 wood, MP20 MMC & T20 wedges
David Dixon – ST200G driver and 3wood, MP20 HMB