Sponsors split with Phil Mickelson, Workday next?

KPMG, Heineken ended respective relationships with Mickelson within hours of his prepared statement on Tuesday, Workday not expected to renew deal in March

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Phil Mickelson and Workday reached an endorsement agreement in April 2017.

KPMG announced Tuesday the termination of its sponsorship of Phil Mickelson, who also Tuesday apologized for some of his comments he made about the Saudis and a proposed golf league headed by Greg Norman that were published on Feb. 17.

Hours later, Heineken N.V., the parent company for Amstel Light, another brand Mickelson represented, also ended its partnership.

A third sponsor, Workday, is expected to announce that it will not renew its contract with Mickelson at the end of March, according to Golf.com. Mickelson signed on with Workday in April 2017.

KPMG’s sponsorship of Mickelson, 51, dates back to 2008. KPMG’s statement read, in part: “KPMG U.S. and Phil Mickelson have mutually agreed to end our sponsorship effective immediately. We wish him the best.”

A spokesman for Heineken told Sportico: "We made the decision to go our separate ways and end Amstel Light’s partnership with Phil Mickelson. We wish him all the best.”

In Mickelson’s statement, he claimed that some of his comments to writer Alan Shipnuck in November were meant to be off the record, but that he has had a “positive experience” with LIV Golf Investments, which is backing the proposed Saudi league and whose CEO is Norman. Shipnuck is writing an unauthorized biography about Mickelson that is scheduled to be published in May.

“The specific people I have worked with are visionaries and have only been supportive,” Mickelson said in his statement. “More importantly they passionately love golf and share my drive to make the game better. They have a clear plan to create an updated and positive experience for everyone including players, sponsors, networks, and fans.”

Mickelson, a six-time major champion, including the 2021 PGA Championship, ended his statement by stating he “desperately” needed “some time away.”

Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, posted on June 4, 2021, listed Mickelson as No. 29 at $41 million a year in earnings for a 12-month period ending May 2021. At the time, the publication listed Mickelson’s sponsors as Amgen, Callaway Golf, Grayhawk Golf Club, Heineken N.V., Intrepid Financial Partners, KPMG, Melin, Mizzen+Main, Rolex, VistaJet and Workday.