|Lizette Salas shares her passions on social media... purple is a predominant color|
Along with a uniquely inspiring story and an endearing personality, the 24-year-old Mexican-American now has an LPGA Tour win. The Kingsmill victory allowed Salas to crack the Rolex Ranking's top-10, placing her solidly among the game's uber-elite.
The 2014 LPGA season has seen some exceptionally exciting winners: Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Paula Creamer to name just a few. However, the Salas story transcends golf in a way we haven't seen in a while.
Lizette Salas grew up in working class Azuza, California, a place where golf "was not what you did", but with relentless support from her Mexican immigrant parents, Lily found a way around that perception... and her trajectory includes remarkable anecdotes that touch the essence of the American Dream and personify the perennial perseverance of the improbable winner.
The sense of sincerity in her smile, backed up by a well documented desire to give back, make Salas an inspiration well beyond the fairways and greens, and have attracted sponsors beyond the world of golf: global management consulting firm MLC & Associates, (We sponsor Lizette because she epitomizes our mission of empowering performance) and international automaker, Toyota, (From her humble beginnings at the Azusa Greens public golf course, to securing a spot on the LPGA Tour, Lizette has such an inspiring story) are both Salas sponsors, Lizette is also among the LPGA golfers sponsored by Pure Silk. It's hard to imagine a company seeking to be identified with empowerment, perseverance, generosity and family values that wouldn't be interested in an alliance with Lizette Salas. In addition, her radiant Latina looks... often highly noticeable in a sea of blonde ponytails... present women of varying backgrounds with a female ideal that's both aspirational and accessible, which is where just about any and every brand is trying to land. Antigua, Titleist, Footjoy and Trion:Z are Salas golf and apparel sponsors and all have been quick to respond to Lizette's passion for purple creating a variety of products for her Purple Saturday tradition. Yet another fun visual that makes Lizette Salas so distinctive. -- Read MORE >>
SportsPro, the London-based global sports media company, publishes a highly regarded... and also much debated... annual list of the World's 50 Most Marketable Athletes. The purpose is to recognize not the most marketed athletes, but the athletes with the most marketing potential for the coming three years. The 2014 list came out last week and included only three golfers (Adam Scott #12, Jordan Spieth #19 and Rory McIlroy #24). In addition, women only made 13 of the 50 spots and editors of the list admit that opinion is divided, even among those making the selection, on who best fits the most marketable bill.
That said, the marketing potential of Lizette Salas, if she continues to contend and win on the LPGA Tour... and especially if she adds a 2014 major to her achievements... is as high as that of any golfer currently playing on any professional tour at the moment. For a woman who was often doubted as she pursued her athletic and educational dreams, this is an outcome we can all applaud.
Listen to Lizette Salas as she addresses fellow USC graduates and administration officials as a featured speaker at commencement celebrations several years ago. Her heart-felt words say it all: