Oakley may be duking it out with its soon-to-be ex-megastar staffer, Rory McIlroy, who’s trading in his O for a swoosh, but the vendor of eyewear, apparel, footwear, and accessories hit the big time when it formally announced on Thursday that Bubba Watson had joined the team.
Like all-things Bubba, the reigning Masters champ made a colorful entrance, as Oakley’s website splashed a huge "Viva La Bubba" howdy and added a brassy video to its welcome wagon.
"Oakley gets it," Watson said in a statement. "I’m proud to join their family because they love the game and they never stop pushing technology to make the game better. Whatever they can do -- whatever can be done -- Oakley will do it. I respect that."
Watson was just one of many free agents changing equipment and apparel teams to kick off the 2013 season. Here are just some of the players who are officially taking their talents elsewhere (Nike plans a major announcement for January 14, so we’ll hold off on grouping the world No. 1 in the scrum):
- To Nike: Kyle Stanley, Nick Watney
- To TaylorMade: Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Ryan Moore, J.J. Henry, Brian Davis, John Huh
- To Callaway: Gary Woodland, Chris Kirk, Andres Gonzalez
- To Izod: Scott Piercy and Spencer Levin join Webb Simpson (signed in September)