Golf News

Ernie Els endorses a pet treat for a good cause

Ernie Els endorses a pet treat for a good cause

ORLANDO — When Ernie Els and his wife attended the 2023 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Liezl, a self-described dog nut, kept returning to her husband with a different four-legged friend in her arms and, with her best puppy-dog eyes, inquired about bringing that rescue home.

“By the third time the dog was in the car,” said Ernie, giving new meaning to his nickname The Big Easy.

Els had a dog named Hogan as a kid in South Africa and since marrying Liezl has added breeds such as Great Danes, Labradors, St. Bernards, Labradoodles and Frenchies to their various homes in England, South Africa and the U.S. But being dog people doesn’t begin to explain what Els was doing at a worldwide gathering of the pet industry and marketing Ernie Els Champion Pet Treats.

“People laugh at me like what the hell are you doing?” Els said. “I feel there’s something there.”

Indeed, there is. According to the American Pet Product Association, the North American pet food industry dominated 37 percent of the global pet food market and is growing at a compound annual rate of 4.4 percent. In 2021, pet food treats and snacks recorded the highest sales, reaching a value of $50 billion, and are growing at a faster rate than any other pet care category. Similar to an increasing appetite for premium treat and snack products for human consumption amongst consumers, this has filtered through to the pet treat industry. More than ever before, pets are seen as part of the family and pet owners want to feed their animals high-quality pet food.

Ernie Els at a booth for Ernie Els Pet Products. (Courtesy Ernie Els)

As for how Els found his way into this business partnership, it dates to the 2019 Els for Autism Pro-Am, where he played in the fundraiser with friends Sheldon Golub and Bill Deutsch. Golub distributes private-label pet treats while Deutsch is a wine importer, distributor and owner of the Yellow Tail and Josh wine labels. (Deutsch’s son Peter partners with Jim Nantz in The Calling wine label.)

Golub always wanted to have a brand for his pet treats and asked Els if he’d be interested in attaching his name to it. Els and his business manager did their homework and learned that it is a thriving business and put together a business partnership originally under the name Ernie Els Champion Training Treats. They realized the opportunity could be much bigger than just treats and renamed the company and the website Ernie Els Pet Products. Launched in November 2019, the pet…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…