Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DeLaet Signs On With SHAW

On a relatively balmy winter’s day in Saskatoon, Canadian golf star Graham DeLaet spent part of the morning hitting balls in the snow.

While he’s usually practising under the desert sun at his Arizona home this time of year, DeLaet, the 39th-ranked golfer in the world, was at a hotel today showing off his swing, smacking some golf balls into the icy waters of the South Saskatchewan River.

What DeLaet described as a “stunt,” was the kick off to a multi-year deal the golfer signed with Shaw Communications Inc., parent company of Global News, which will see the Shaw logo on his hat and golf bag.

“It is a good Canadian brand getting their foot in the door with golf,” says DeLaet, 31, who grew up in Weyburn, Sask. “I’m excited moving forward with it. For me it starts with playing good golf, and when you play great golf other things off the course come with it.”

Shaw chief executive Brad Shaw, who, along with some friends, watched as DeLaet battled American golf star Jordan Spieth on Sunday at last year’s Presidents Cup, says the golfer’s work ethic and personality are a strong fit for the media company.

“Any time you have the family name on the company and have someone else wearing it – you take that seriously,” said Shaw. “You look at Graham and the type of person he is and how hard he works and how humble he is and you recognize he’s a great fit. We’re so proud he’s Canadian and from Western Canada and what he’s achieved. It is a tremendous opportunity for us to support golf in Canada and local charities.”

DeLaet, who already has two Top 10 finishes on the 2013-14 PGA Tour season this year, will wear the Shaw logo next week when he plays the Farmers Insurance Open. He’ll also play his first Masters in April, trying to become only the second Canadian to win a men’s major championship.

Since emerging as a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2010, DeLaet’s powerful driving, homegrown enthusiasm and ability to rise to the occasion has made him a force in professional golf.

Last year he nearly won the Barclays, part of golf’s FedEx Cup playoffs, recorded seven Top 10 finishes, and made $2.83-million in earnings. His strong play earned him a spot on the International Team of the Presidents Cup, the competition that matches the best American stars against the top golfers in the world outside of Europe.

Despite his team losing to a dominant American group, Masters winner Adam Scott called DeLaet the MVP of the international squad. His play won accolades from team captain Nick Price, who said DeLaet is “a hell of a player. I think Canada has a lot to look forward to the next ten or 12 years or so watching him play because he’s definitely major championship material.”

In addition to the sponsorship with Shaw, DeLaet has just inked a new clothing deal with Puma, and is continuing with sponsor RBC and club company Titleist, as well as an ambassador for the province of Saskatchewan.

DeLaet says the connection with Shaw is just an extension of his on-course success.

“All across the country – and in Saskatchewan – I’ve had tons of support,” he says. “I’m a Saskatchewan boy and Shaw is an Alberta company. Saskatchewan and Alberta are like big brother and little brother, though I don’t know which is the little brother any more. Western Canada is an important part of my life and growing up so there’s no coincidence this is happening.”


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