Nicklaus Companies appoints Phil Cotton as Chief Executive Officer - Nicklaus Companies
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Nicklaus Companies appoints Phil Cotton as Chief Executive Officer

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (May 09, 2022) – The board of Nicklaus Companies today announced the appointment of Phil Cotton as Chief Executive Officer. An experienced sports industry business leader, Phil will succeed John Reese who is transitioning to Vice Chairman at Nicklaus Companies, after more than 10 years as CEO.

Reporting to Executive Chairman, Howard Milstein, Phil will oversee the existing businesses and teams of Nicklaus Brands, Nicklaus Design as well as all corporate relationships and new business opportunities. Phil will work closely with business heads Andy O’Brien, President of Nicklaus Brands, and Paul Stringer, President of Nicklaus Design.

Phil, a highly experienced senior executive in the sports and entertainment industry, has a successful track-record spanning over 20 years in the UK, Europe and North America. Working for some of the world’s top athletes, brands and agencies, career highlights include spearheading the technology giant SAP’s golf sponsorship portfolio for their agency, as well as leading the business interests of four-time major winner Ernie Els, for over a decade.

“The team has had first-hand experience of working with Phil over a number of years and we are excited to be bringing him in-house to lead the business into a new era, building on the excellent foundations that John has laid,” commented the Chairman of Nicklaus Companies, Howard Milstein.

“Phil’s breadth and depth of knowledge within the global golf industry is second to none and this, coupled with his demonstrable commitment to innovation and excellence, makes him the perfect fit to drive forward the Nicklaus business,” he added.

Phil Cotton, incoming Chief Executive Officer of Nicklaus Companies, commented:

“It is a huge honor to be leading the team at Nicklaus Companies. Jack has matched his on-course achievements with both his business and philanthropic endeavors and I am excited to have the opportunity to harness the great talent that we have within the business to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to ensure that the Nicklaus name remains synonymous with quality, excellence and innovation.”

“I am also looking forward to working closely with the 8AM Golf group – a network of industry leading companies that provides us with a truly unique platform to help clients directly access a huge, highly-engaged global golf audience,” he added.

About Nicklaus Companies

For 50 years, the mission of Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience and to deliver quality branded products and services on a global basis that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of its Founder, Jack Nicklaus. 

The Nicklaus Companies businesses include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of lifestyle products worldwide under the iconic Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands. 

Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created over 430 courses worldwide, open for play in 45 countries and 40 U.S states. 

In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to further the growth of the company and expand the branded businesses. In addition to institutionalizing the Nicklaus brands for the future, Milstein has instilled a personal philosophy of “A Brand That Gives Back” with products and partners committing to donations to help the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and other charities. 

A leading entrepreneur in the golf industry, Milstein also created 8AM Golf, a family of companies that also includes GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com, Miura Golf, Club Conex, True Spec Golf, Chirp, Three’s and GolfLogix. All share a common mission to help players at all levels enjoy the game more. 

The team at Nicklaus Companies prides itself with leveraging the brand’s winning heritage to achieve excellence, growth and champion social good. 

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