Famed Australian golfer Greg Norman is no stranger to making money. The 62-year-old, who goes by the nickname Great White Shark (and owns the awesome domain Shark.com as its home), has also proved as skilled an entrepreneur since he won his first big tourney back in 1978.
With a personal motto of “Always Attack Life,” Norman has designed golf courses, owns a clothing line and sells real estate. He’s got a financial services company, The Great White Shark Opportunity Fund. His name graces eyewear and a line of wakeboarding complexes that he owns with his son. He has a line of steaks and wine and a restaurant as well as a golf academy. Not bad for a guy who was paid $30 a week to work at an Australian golf course back in 1975.
Keen to expand on that foundation, he has just signed a global licensing deal with Authentic Brands Group—a firm known for repping celebrities living and dead (Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley). ABG’s other sports legends include Dr. J, Muhammad Ali and Shaquille O’Neal, better known for basketball than geography.
Although only 62, Norman is keenly aware of building a lasting brand and legacy. “I was at a corporate retreat three years ago and asked people there if we should do a 12-year plan or a 200-year plan and people looked at me like I was crazy,” he told ESPN about his ABG deal. “What this is is that 200-year plan. I’ve built my platform and my credibility up for the last 30 years and now I want to set it up to grow in perpetuity.”
While ABG will help grow Norman’s consumer products and endorsements of The Greg Norman Company, known as Great White Shark Enterprises since last year, it won’t be involved with Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Greg Norman Real Estate, Greg Norman Media, Greg Norman Investments, Greg Norman’s Australian Grille or Shark Wake Park. Those are not part of the deal. ABG will attempt to get Norman into the wellness space, ABG told ESPN.
I have a complement of wonderful people working for me around the globe. Each one has a special devotion, dedication, passion and belief in my company and what we do. To my employees- you are the cog, the backbone of the company an invaluable asset and I APPRECIATE your commitment to excellence, your contributions, every second you give, every ounce of energy you expel, the spirit, the heart and the belief you have in me. Thank you and Happy Employee Appreciation Day. Have a beautiful weekend all.
“This alliance will unlock my company’s full potential by joining with one of the foremost brand development companies in the world,” Norman stated. “It is markedly important to continue to evolve the brand, reach new audiences, and expand our portfolio, and ABG is undoubtedly the right partner to help us on that journey.”
In addition to his wholly-owned companies, Norman’s various business dealings include investing in Vancouver-based GPS Industries; partnering with Kohlberg & Company to acquire Troon Golf, one of the world’s largest golf management companies; and acquiring a stake in Alchemy Global, which secures investors for sports startups.
Norman, a self-described sports entrepreneur who is keen to nurture other entrepreneurs, is also a brand ambassador and partner for brands including Qantas (a partnership he’s been in since 1976), Cobra Golf, the OMEGA watch line and others.
I am thrilled to announce the finalists for my search for the Next Great Sports Entrepreneur. It was truly a worldwide search as we received hundreds of applications from around the globe with entrants from five continents! I myself am an entrepreneur and having made the shift from a professional athlete to a businessman required me to have a vision and also someone in the business world who believed in that vision. It is thrilling for me, almost three decades later, to have the opportunity to do it for someone else. The following finalists will have that opportunity: · FIOMET – Scott Rap, MD · Spalk – Ben Reynolds & Michael Prendergast · Snaptivity – Volha Paulovich · Game Cart – Pete Bastawros · The Grint – Jose Torbay Congratulations and I look forward to seeing you at the @UnivMiami Sport Conference on March 24. For tickets to see the event and hear my keynote speech: www.miamisportconference.com