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Shark Feast

March 28, 1994|JAMES BATES

Professional golfer Greg Norman, whose nickname is "The Shark," has been doing swimmingly in the stock market.

One of golf's top pros, Norman has made nearly $7 million in career PGA winnings.

But that amount pales in comparison to the money he's making from a deal with Cobra Golf Inc., a golf club manufacturer in Carlsbad, Calif.

A Cobra document filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission provides a rare glimpse at just how lucrative an endorsement deal can be for a top golfer.

For starters, Norman stands to reap about $7.5 million in an upcoming stock offering. He is listed as planning to sell 244,106 shares, according to the registration statement, which lists the proposed maximum offering price at $30.75 a share.

That's just a start. Last year, Norman reaped about $3.5 million selling 181,115 shares in a separate offering. He's still left with 405,697 shares, worth about $12.3 million based on the stock's current value.

On top of all that is a lucrative endorsement deal. The document says Norman gets a $500,000 annual retainer through this year, which rises to $750,000 annually in 1995 and 1996.

He gets $100,000 if he wins one of the four major golf tournaments, as he did when he won the 1993 British Open. Norman also receives a 7% royalty on sales exceeding $15 million of products with his name on them, and owns 50% of the Cobra equipment licensee in Australia, where he is from.

Add another $300,000 if he uses the company's "King Cobra driver" on the pro tour this year.

Metaphor of the Week

Add the folks at The Trends Journal, a New York newsletter about business and social trends, to those coming up with more metaphors for the much-hyped information superhighway.

In its current issue, the publication says pessimistically that its researchers are forecasting that "much of the superhighway bringing us all into cyberspace will be littered with junk; that the overwhelming majority of people will want nothing more exalting than what they get now from TV."

The Zsa Zsa Fund

The recent celebrity Bankruptcy Court filing by Zsa Zsa Gabor reveals a rare glimpse into what the stars are buying.

Gabor's stock holdings include AT&T, Walt Disney Co., Merck & Co, Nestle, Pacific Telesis and Royal Dutch Petroleum.

Briefly. . .

Creative Marketing Consultants, a Michigan consulting firm, found in a survey that 64% of the viewers of last week's Academy Awards found the program more appealing than last year's broadcast. . . . The same survey found 16% of the viewers had seen "Schindler's List," the same percentage of respondents in the company's survey a year ago that had seen Oscar winner "Unforgiven." . . . A Maryland company sells a watch with President Clinton's picture on it that runs backward. . . . Whatever that means: A garlic pill is touted as reducing "the risk of free radical oxidation."

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