"As I look to build my brand"

Craig Dolch writes about Annika's boyfriend taking over her business empire the Annika brand.
For more than a year, Sorenstam has been dating Mike McGee, a golf agent and the son of PGA Tour golfer Jerry McGee. The relationship has grown to the point that McGee on Monday announced his plans to leave International Golf Properties to help handle the business affairs of Sorenstam, who wants to transition from star golfer to corporate executive with her company, ANNIKA.

"I think the timing is right as I look to build my brand," said Sorenstam, 36, who hasn't said much about her personal life since her divorce from David Esch in 2005.

"Mike is a wonderful guy, and I appreciate that he can understand what I go through. He has an upbringing and background in sports, especially golf, so he is able to relate to my life. ... It's great to know he has my best interests at heart."

Sorenstam said she will continue to have International Management Group handle her endorsements, but McGee will work on her businesses. Plans include a golf academy, a foundation, several golf-course design projects, a fitness DVD, clothing and jewelry lines and two tournaments she hosts.

"Annika has so much going on from a business standpoint," said McGee, 32. "Since I'm in the business and she knows how much I care about her, she knows I will work my tail off for her. I understand the business end and what it means to her. That's her office. The time constraints that go with it can be overwhelming for someone who doesn't understand it."