Brittany Lincicome is excited to become a mom in September, starting a family with her husband Dewald Gouws. She's about 15 weeks pregnant as she makes her first start of the year at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Arizona, and she'll play an undetermined amount of time before using the LPGA Tour maternity leave policy to become a mom for the first time.
In addition to the forthcoming bundle of joy, Lincicome was excited to share on Tuesday in Arizona that her primary endorsement sponsors, CME Group and Diamond Resorts, have agreed to pay her total year endorsement contract despite needing to miss time out of the public eye while she goes on leave.
“CME and Diamond Resorts are going to honor my contracts, even though I obviously won't be able to play a full season, which is fantastic,” Lincicome said. “I never thought in a million years that they would do that. I feel so honored and blessed to be represented by two great companies that are going to do this. It's just fantastic.”
Stacy Lewis had the same opportunity last year when KPMG agreed to pay her full-year deal as she went on maternity leave.
The compacts these three companies have made with these players could well represent a change in how LPGA player endorsement contracts are written. In the past, players would have contingencies in their contracts, requiring them to lose a pro-rated portion of their annual compensation to cover the time they missed on the LPGA while on maternity leave, as a player would be required to make a minimum number of starts to satisfy the deal. That has forced women to make a choice of starting a family during their most productive years as a pro golfer or wait until the outer years of their career, once they're perhaps more established financially and not as concerned as a potential financial hit that would come with both not competing and not being able to meet agreed-to sponsor obligations.
The change for Lewis and Lincicome hopefully will mean more opportunities for other LPGA players who wish to start a family. The United States lags behind other countries in paid maternity (and paternity, for that matter) leave. Perhaps these examples for endorsers will carry throughout corporate America for everyday people.