Students with sponsorships

From logos on shoes to golf clubs and caps, various brands sponsor numerous TPHS students. Colin Li (12), for one, is sponsored by Adidas and Callaway for golf.

“For Adidas, they reached out to me when I was 14 or 15 years old. For Callaway, I reached out to them last April because I was switching sponsorships. I emailed them and got started,” Li said. 

Li, who is committed to play golf at Yale University next year, has been playing golf for 13 years. While sponsorships have been helpful financially, they have helped with a great deal more.

“I think it definitely helps getting all the newest [golf] clubs … [and] being able to get free golf balls, gloves and all that other stuff. It makes it a lot easier,” Li said. 

For Li, who said he is a “perfectionist” when it comes to golf, his goal is to make “States” as a team and win individual “Regionals” or “States” again. Li won the CIF Southern California Regional golf title last year.

“Outside of high school and for myself, I want to be able to do individual tournaments, play in Junior Worlds and qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur [Golf Championship]. So those are goals that I want to be able to accomplish this summer,” Li said.

Similarly, for Evan Liu (9), who is sponsored by Adidas, TaylorMade and Foresight Sports for golf, the sponsorships also provide benefits beyond cost relief. 

“Before, my dad would look online and try and test out what works, maybe buy a few different things. Now I can just go up to headquarters and get fit for myself and make sure everything’s perfectly dialed in,” Liu said.

In such fittings, both Li and Liu get clothes and equipment tailored for themselves from brands.

When choosing golf equipment, Liu looks for ones that “feel right” and that he feels “confident” in. In other ways, too, getting sponsored is something that has become increasingly helpful to Liu as he has progressed through his golf journey.

“With Adidas, I played well in a big tournament when I was 12 or 13, so they reached out to me for shoes at first. And then as I got older, I got my clothing sponsorship as well,” Liu said.

For Liu, his inspiration and passion is what keeps him going.

“There’s these big stars out there you always want to be like. I think my passion for the game has taken me places I really wouldn’t have experienced without it. I love playing, and I love competing,” Liu said.

While sponsorships support student athletes in several ways, they also increase the sponsors’ brand exposure and extend their foothold in various realms.

“I think the big motivation in targeting a high school student [for sponsorships] would be [appealing to different] demographics,” TPHS Marketing, Intro to Business and Accounting teacher Rafael Ancona said. “For example, you can segment markets by age, sex and things along those lines.” 

Such sponsorships seem to be beneficial for student athletes and sports brands alike. With added support from helpful sponsors,  the future achievements of TPHS athletes are even more exciting to follow.

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