Ko signs apparel partnership, launches fashion line

World No.1 women’s golf player Lydia Ko has signed an apparel partnership with newly-launched golfwear brand Mckayson through which the New Zealander will launch her own fashion line.

The endorsement deal will initially run for three years, from 2017 to 2019, and grants McKayson rights to use Ko’s name and likeness in its advertising, brand product and logo.

The 19-year-old will take on a lead role in developing her new golf apparel line, Mckayson LK. The line will reflect Ko’s “thoughts and knowhow on tour”.

Ko said: “It’s only been four years since I became a professional and to be able to have my own apparel line at this time in my career is a tremendous honour and I hope this relationship will last for a long time.”

MC Kim, chairman of MCS Holdings, parent company of MCS Sports, which owns Mckayson, added: “Mckayson was formed with the purpose of building a global brand beyond the local Korean market and we are putting a lot of effort as we speak to compete in the global market. We are fortunate that the opportunity to title sponsor the LPGA's Mckayson New Zealand Women's Open came to us but foremost, we are very honoured to be able to sponsor the world number one golfer Lydia Ko.

“We are taking on the heavy responsibility of being THE brand worn by the world No.1 golfer but at the same time we will do our best to push Mckayson to become a global brand.”

In November, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) unveiled McKayson as title sponsor of the New Zealand Open, which will become an LPGA Tour event from this year. The 2017 McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open will take place from September 28 to October 1 at the Windross Farm Golf Course in Auckland.

The tournament will feature a prize fund of $1.3m (€1.2m) and will mark the first LPGA or PGA Tour event to be held in New Zealand. The tournament provides Korea-born Ko with a first chance to compete in an LPGA event in her home city.

Mckayson plans on launching its brand in North America, Oceania and Asia around the same time as the Mckayson LK line. Ko will debut the new line at the Women’s Australian Open, which takes place from February 16-19.

Ko has also been named as a brand ambassador of golf shoe manufacturer Ecco Golf. Ko last week signed an endorsement deal with US golf equipment manufacturer PXG.