Golf star Andrew Johnston sets his own terms for portraying himself

Keith Pelley, the president and CEO of Bell Media, says golfers are paid enough. The money appears to be ample for Andrew “Beef” Johnston to describe his feelings as a major sponsor of golf tournaments and media rights has signed an eight-year deal to make the PGA Tour player’s name part of the Game by Bell series.

Johnston first made the headlines for appearing in a Burger King restaurant, dressed as a beef burger, posing for a photograph, on social media. He received universal critical acclaim from the press, although some labelled his joke as offensive and sexist.

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“Personally I don’t agree with his [Johnston’s] comments. I don’t agree with him using a vulgarity and that restaurant is a hot spot for teenagers,” Pelley said. “He’s making money, he’s one of the most famous people in Canada. For me, I just think he shouldn’t make any big apologies.”

TV6 president Paul Henninger, whose company struck the deal, said Johnston’s humorous and light-hearted reaction to headlines over his use of the slang term “bromance” between Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland were the same way Johnston and McIlroy have presented themselves to the public since they were introduced to each other two years ago by then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Henninger said having Johnston’s name and face front and centre in a series of campaign was beneficial to the other 45 PGA Tour players appearing on the seven year package.

“As the television market becomes more sophisticated, he is an extremely important, public figure,” Henninger said. “Is it ‘Beeftional?’ No, but every golfer wears a patch on their right sleeve as a nod to the fans and are identifiable.”

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