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Global YouTube sensation, Rick Shiels, has announced a new sponsor in footwear giants, Ecco. Shiels will now exclusively wear Ecco shoes when filming content for his ever-growing YouTube page; which presently sits at an astounding 2.12m subscribers.
Speaking on the Rick Shiels Golf Show, he said of the deal: "Over the last 18-months, I couldn't even imagine how many footwear brands have sent me shoes. My garage is literally full of boxes however, none of them have passed the test for me up until I started wearing Ecco. Genuinely, hands-down, they are the comfiest shoes I've ever worn. Not even a question."
Whilst partnering with Ecco shoes is a commercial deal, Shiels was keen to emphasise his impartiality with club manufacturers that has been the foundation of his success. He said: "With any sponsorship, because I've got an audience, I'm always quite protective about what we push to the audience."
"I've always been super cautious about this relationship between what I wear, what I endorse and how closely that is linked to manufacturers. I just think it's not a clean transaction if there is any kind of integration there. For me, I try to keep it ridiculously separate. Whatever I wear, whatever I get involved in, will not be involved with manufacturers."
Fans of Rick Shiels can rest assured that the style of his content will not change as a result of his latest sponsorship acquisition.
Up until 1 January 2021, Shiels was partnered with Nike Golf in a head-to-toe apparel deal; including footwear. This partnership came after Nike had exited the golf club market and therefore meant he remained impartial when reviewing products across manufacturers. The relationship with Nike came to an end when the deal was renegotiated with terms that didn't quite sit well with Shiels.
Speaking on a different edition of the Rick Shiels Golf Show, he said: "Generally, I’m not pushing sales, I’m not a salesman, I’m effectively a model. That was what I was doing for the last four years and I’ve really enjoyed it, but things have changed, Nike’s strategy has changed.
"At the end of last year they put a new deal down, they wanted to continue the relationship. They put a deal down and explained that the conditions had changed slightly and it was now going to be a bit more ‘paid to post’.
"So for me their model had changed a bit too much for my liking. I don’t want to become somebody who every other post I’m posting about Nike products, because I feel like that’s going to influence what I post and I don’t want that to influence what I post."
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.