"Just as invested in seeing her brand succeed as we are."

2004416963.jpgThe Seattle Times business staff reports on Annika re-signing with Cutter and Buck, talking to Cutter's Ernie Johnson.

News this past week that the 37-year-old Sorenstam plans to retire when the season's LPGA Tour ends was not a shock to Johnson.

"We've known for sometime that starting a family was in her plans, so this didn't come as a surprise to us," he says. "We're very happy for her."

Under a multiyear contract signed in 2003, Sorenstam gets quarterly royalty checks based on sales of the Annika collection, Johnson says. In exchange, Cutter & Buck gets to use her name and image — and the exposure that goes with her appearances.

Sorenstam is "just as invested in seeing her brand succeed as we are," says Cutter & Buck spokeswoman Meghan Graves. Sales grew in double digits this past year, she says.

Isn't it touching to see a major brand putting someone else's brand above their own? Who says corporations don't have hearts?