CNBC’s Darren Rovell broke the news via Twitter on Monday night. The tweet in full:
Camilo Villegas is new spokesman 4 @taylormadegc, leaving Cobra (Puma). Villegas will have TaylorMade-adidas bag, glove hat, equipment, ball and footwear in 2011. “Camilo is a winner, a gentleman, and a fan favorite,” said Mark King, president and CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, in a statement. “Cameras tend to find him because he has presence and magnetism that’s impressive and rare. Camilo also shares the same values with our brand and our people, including a burning desire to improve and reach his potential. We very much want to help him do that, which is why we believe this is a great fit.”
This is a nice grab by TaylorMade and huge loss for Cobra-Puma since Camilo was one of their biggest stars — not to mention a great spokesperson that’s known to thank his sponsors like NASCAR drivers. But it also gives Cobra the opportunity to pursue another great talent that draws just as much or more attention. According to a rep, more details will be announced in the official press release on Tuesday morning.
Update: Hacker’s Paradise actually broke the news of the sponsor switch two weeks ago.
The press release was basically what Rovell tweeted on Monday evening. Cobra hasn’t made official comment yet, but I get the sense that they’re, well, really pissed — not at Camilo because it sounds like they didn’t want to dish up the extra cash to resign him, but it appears they’re not happy with the timing of the announcement. Usually, this type of news is released more toward the end of the year. Considering the Cobra sales team is hitting their retail accounts this week (which TM was aware), it seems the presser was a strategic move by TaylorMade (whose sales team is probably doing the same).
Club company war!