Legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer died 13 months ago from complications of heart problems at the age of 87. Before his death, he had a massive impact on the world of golf with his nickname “The King.”
He won 62 PGA Tour events, including four victories at the Masters, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Now according to Forbes, he still makes alot of money even in death. Palmer earned $3.6 million in prize money during 52 years on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, but his business prowess pushed his career earnings to $875 million, including endorsements, appearances, licensing and course design fees (it was $1.4 billion adjusted for inflation).
Forbes says, ‘Palmer remains a hot commodity after his death with estimated earnings of $40 million over the past 12 months for his estate. Only Michael Jackson earned more among deceased celebrities. There are still more than 400 stores selling Arnold Palmer-branded apparel in Asia with plans to move into new markets like Thailand and Vietnam.
His estate has agreements with 39 licensees. “The licensing business is one by its nature that can perpetuate far beyond the person’s demise if set up correctly,” says Alastair Johnston, Palmer’s longtime agent at IMG.
The Arnold Palmer line of beverages was launched in 2001 based on Palmer’s preferred blend of ice tea and lemonade. AriZona Beverages now produced 500 million cans of the line last year and with the drinks focused on the 13-to-35-year-old consumer, 60% to 70% of drinkers associate the Palmer name with the drink instead of the golfer’s accomplishments on the course. Companies continue to use Palmer in their marketing.
MasterCard and Textron both renewed agreements with Palmer’s estate over the past year. MasterCard rolled out ads this year with images of a young Arnold Palmer and the slogan “Arnie Would.” The relationship between Rolex and Palmer is one of the oldest in sports and celebrates 50 years in 2017′.