On June 2, what would have been Dr. Charlie Sifford’s 99th birthday, WME Legends announced a worldwide representation deal with JLMP to co-represent The Estate of Charlie L. Sifford, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 92, and is commonly referred to as “The Jackie Robinson of Golf”.
Charlie L. Sifford was the first African American to earn a PGA Tour card and was the first Black golfer to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame (2004).
JLMP, LLC, the management company handling the Charlie L. Sifford Estate, brokered the deal with WME Legends to jointly promote Sifford’s story of struggle, perseverance and triumph.
The team will holistically represent the Estate’s assets including name, likeness, memorabilia, life and IP rights worldwide with a focus on growing the Estate’s legacy with a new generation.
Next year, 2022, is Dr. Sifford’s Centennial. Accordingly, WME, JLMP and the Estate are joining with corporate strategic partners to plan and execute a year of recognition and celebration.
Initiatives to celebrate Sifford’s legacy include a deal with Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson to produce and direct a feature-length documentary on Sifford’s life; re-releasing Sifford’s definitive autobiography, Just Let Me Play; celebrity golf tournaments; scholarships; inner city youth golf programs; traveling memorabilia exhibits; receptions; merchandising; and grassroots activations with corporations and sports leagues.
Sifford blazed a trail for future generations of Black athletes in the game, including Tiger Woods, who affectionately refers to him as his “grandpa”.
While Sifford became the first non-white golfer to play in a PGA Tour event, he was originally banned from being a PGA Tour Member due to its “Caucasian-only” membership clause. The elite golfer was instrumental in getting the PGA Tour to formally terminate this clause and in 1960, the PGA Tour issued Sifford an “approved player” card, which allowed him to play in tournaments as a rookie at the age of 39.
Three years later, Sifford became a full member of the PGA Tour and earned several PGA Tour victories, winning more than $1.2 Million and remaining among the top 60 money winners on the PGA Tour through the 1960s.
His long list of honors includes 6-time UGA National Negro Open champion, PGA Hall of Fame, an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
“We are very excited to lead the charge and work with WME and the Estate to bring Charlie Sifford’s story to the public and to celebrate Dr. Sifford in his centennial year and beyond. He was not just a golf icon, but also an African-American icon who broke numerous barriers in sport and in life,” said Russell Crockett of JLMP, LLC.
Charles Sifford, Jr., the son of the great golfer, said: “I’m thrilled to celebrate this deal as we prepare to commemorate my father’s 100th birthday. Dad just wanted to play golf, but in the process, he helped open doors for others – which was important to him as well. His life story is an essential part of racial and social justice movements – then and now. It offers an opportunity to reflect on humanitarianism and the Black American experience.”