Mell: Corporations Need to Invest in LPGA Tour

Holy MosesHoly Moses Members Posts: 10,444 ✭✭
edited Nov 21, 2018 in LPGA/Ladies golf talk #1
https://www.golfchannel.com/news/randalls-rant-time-step-and-fill-gender-pay-gap



Inkster: “It’s not like I’m a feminist, but I’m just trying to change the culture,” Inkster said. “I just don't understand how all these companies get away with supporting PGA Tour events and not supporting the LPGA. It makes me a little upset, because I think we've got a great product. We deserve our due.”



Mell writes:



“PGA Tour pros are playing for $340 million in prize money this year.



LPGA pros played for $67 million.



Yes, the PGA Tour draws a lot more eyeballs in the United States and Europe than the LPGA today, and that’s a bottom line consideration for corporations choosing to title sponsor. It’s a cold, hard business reality, but it’s also a shortsighted business strategy.



A purse ought to reflect more than the business value of a golf event. It ought to reflect the investment value of a business opportunity, in the potential of the people who present an event.



An LPGA event is a growth opportunity.



The purse is seed money.”



So how does this investment bring a return? Just an opportunity to get in early and spend more later?
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Comments

  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 19,946 ✭✭
    It all boils down to eyeballs. The number of viewers for the LPGA is unfortunately minimal. Corporations want to get the biggest bang for the buck.



    Of course, there is certainly an element of chicken and egg to it. If there was more corporate support, you'd see more TV coverage, and better (and more consistent) viewing hours.
  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    As a soccer fan I've read the same thing over in that sport. The women's national team has complained (somewhat justifiably) that they deserve more money because they've won more. Heck, they win period. But as Arg said it's all eyeballs. More people watch the men's team. Do we really think the sponsor's care about the people playing the sport or the LPGA itself? I mean really think about that. Sure, some may genuinely care on an individual level, but it's strictly business and their goal is a return on investment.



    I agree with Inkster; they are due, and I would argue there is less of an ability gap between the LPGA and PGA than the men's and women's soccer teams. But you can't argue the PGA sells, no matter what. Why I have no idea, I personally find most of them boring save my boy Rickie.



    But to close up, yes, it's chicken and egg as Arg said. That's why I think the LPGA is positioned actually quite nicely for global exposure vs the PGA. There is a huge market that we simply don't see in the US and may never see. Does Whan care if US corporate support is lower but corporate support in other countries (ahem, Korea) more than make up for it in revenue? It's a gamble, but another good example is Brooke. She's going to inspire thousands of young Canadian girls to play. I can't name a Canadian male golfer. That's market potential.
  • Holy MosesHoly Moses Members Posts: 10,444 ✭✭
    Would a big sponsor and bigger purses actually bring in better ratings? Not working for the WNBA.
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  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,219 ClubWRX
    I've never understood why L'Oreal doesn't advertise on the PGA Tour.
  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    Holy Moses wrote:


    Would a big sponsor and bigger purses actually bring in better ratings? Not working for the WNBA.




    I doubt it as well, but that begs the question of how they get their revenue to increase.



    Plus, what is the actual goal of the LPGA? To have purse parity with the PGA? Never going to happen. The Same ratings? Ditto. For now just surviving seems like a victory.
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 19,946 ✭✭
    Survival and some growth seems realistic. The LET is on life support.
  • tbowles411tbowles411 ClubWRX Posts: 25,056 ✭✭
    edited Nov 21, 2018 #8
    As Argonne said, it's simple eyeballs. Who's watching them besides us? Apparently not enough to warrant more prize money. Unfortunately people equate the lack of eyeballs with the misguided notion that these ladies can't play. They're doing more than surviving. For what they've been through, they're thriving. The money just isn't matching up.



    And the LET? DEFINATELY on life support.
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  • fredogolferfredogolfer Posts: 195 ✭✭
    WestTex wrote:

    Holy Moses wrote:


    Would a big sponsor and bigger purses actually bring in better ratings? Not working for the WNBA.




    I doubt it as well, but that begs the question of how they get their revenue to increase.



    Plus, what is the actual goal of the LPGA? To have purse parity with the PGA? Never going to happen. The Same ratings? Ditto. For now just surviving seems like a victory.




    Beside very early on, I don't think the LPGA's survival was going to be an issue. Even in 2009-2011 when there were only a handful of events, foreign tv revenue was going to keep the tour viable.



    Whan has done a good job but he even said last week they'll need to keep adding 3-4 events every year to stay at 34 events. So why are sponsors fickle? Is sponsoring an event for 3-5 years all corporations are willing to do? Do they realize its not a good investment? If so, doesn't word travel among the corporate community?



    I think the LPGA is more than surviving. The kicker is it's mainly foreign money. They have made inroads internationally more than almost any other sport beside soccer maybe Formula One.



    I don't think parity is the goal because like you said it likely won't happen and while I applaud CME Group's willingness to raise the purse, what will happen when Terry Duffy is no longer the CEO?



    It doesn't seem like the commissioner is quite ready to push sponsors to raise purses. He said last week that sponsors are the customers of the LPGA and hinted the previous commissioner forgot that. It is stranger however that there will be 2-3 events with purses of 5 million or higher and there will be an event with just a little over a million dollars (Victorian Open) and an event with 1.2 million dollars albeit a limited field event.



    I think the goal should be more parity among LPGA events themselves first and then increasing purses overall.
  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    Very good point about Duffy and his tenure. I guess I'm just really paranoid about the LPGA because if I start watching a TV show, they inevitably cancel it. I'm a jinx. Some have the midas touch, I have the fecal touch.
  • I don't know about large corporations or prize money but I do know on a personal level I'd love to have more access to ladies golf on television. Until the LPGA and other women's golf organizations decide to expand their TV coverage and behind the scenes stuff they are missing out on an opportunity to grow the game on a small level at the very least. Would it be feasible for them to hire a small production company and live stream a single camera or a few camera's with some commentary from a young and hungry "personality" on YouTube or on their own website? I understand not being able to afford a traditional broadcast but this type of access would be possible and a great way to grow the game and show off the personalities of your players.
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  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    edited Nov 21, 2018 #12


    I don't know about large corporations or prize money but I do know on a personal level I'd love to have more access to ladies golf on television. Until the LPGA and other women's golf organizations decide to expand their TV coverage and behind the scenes stuff they are missing out on an opportunity to grow the game on a small level at the very least. Would it be feasible for them to hire a small production company and live stream a single camera or a few camera's with some commentary from a young and hungry "personality" on YouTube or on their own website? I understand not being able to afford a traditional broadcast but this type of access would be possible and a great way to grow the game and show off the personalities of your players.




    This is something I've been wanting for a while. BTW if there are any sugar daddies out there my wife and I can be convinced to quit our jobs, and she is an absolute blast to talk to and has the personality for it....just sayin'.
  • ChronicSlicerChronicSlicer Members Posts: 909 ✭✭
    WestTex wrote:


    Very good point about Duffy and his tenure. I guess I'm just really paranoid about the LPGA because if I start watching a TV show, they inevitably cancel it. I'm a jinx. Some have the midas touch, I have the fecal touch.




    Speaking of TV, I know the Golf Channel for my local cable company is an add on. It`s like a little sports/outdoor package I pay extra for. My point being is until I got the added package I had no idea about women`s golf. I knew a few names, but since normal cable never aired the LPGA I never paid much attention.



    Once again, lack of mainstream exposure, lack of eyeballs.
  • ClairefromClareClairefromClare Posts: 414 ✭✭
    Why not focus on what works and figure out how to expand/monetize that? We know LPGA players interact with fans and sponsors; they do a fabulous job of it. Sponsors' guests rave about that part of the experience.



    What do you do with that, given that there are a finite number of hours in a week and these folks are athletes? Note I'm NOT advocating emphasizing the cheesecake. Just wondering how to make better use of a limited resource.
  • south_side_leftysouth_side_lefty Posts: 1,109 ✭✭
    Sounds like Randall is disappointed is us.
  • Bob CatBob Cat Golfopath Members Posts: 1,521 ✭✭
    You've probably maximized your exposure on The Golf Channel.

    Sundays tour championship shared a time slot with the NFL. You're not going to get more "eyeballs" there.



    Network TV has the new audience potential. The LPGA and Tiger/Phil match don't get that or they don't care.
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  • 4waymiss4waymiss Posts: 1,013 ✭✭


    "Deserve got nothing to do with it"
  • I agree that's why they need to think on the level of using their own website and a YouTube Channel to not only attract more viewers in the US but the Asian market as well. People can't or won't get excited about things that they can't watch or relate to. The LPGA players and women's sports figures in general are much more accommodating and easy to root for than their male counterparts. Even mediocre male basketball players at the college level have been told they are the greatest thing on earth for the better part of their lives. That shows in their mannerisms. You just don't see that as much in women's sports. The LPGA needs to focus on doing a better job of marketing their players and quit trying to compete against the PGA, that's a fight they won't win.
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  • 18majors18majors Members Posts: 467 ✭✭
    NBA was in limbo until Magic, Bird and Michael came around in late 70's and early 80's.

    LPGA is envious of PGA Tour, even though PGA is a niche sport by major network standard. Whatever it's, what would PGA Tour be without Arnold Palmer and Tiger.

    LPGA had Nancy Lopez, who created spotlights in late 70's but there have been no successors since. Michelle Wie was going to be it until she took herself out.

    LPGA won't be where it's today without a huge fan base in Korea and Japan. They're indebted to Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, In Gee Chun, Sung Hyun Park and Ai Miyazato.

    LPGA needs to have a string of Nancy Lopez's before they can amount to bigger and better things.
  • AndyCAndyC Posts: 141 ClubWRX
    Mell needs to take Econ 101 before he writes another article about gender-gap pay and/or corporate support. Athletic events produce nothing other than an entertainment product. The value is determined solely by the demand just like any other entertainment product. Having more LPGA events televised in prime hours may result in a few more eyeballs but it may also result in fewer due to direct competition from the PGA. I will not be watching unless there is a compelling reason or story that would draw me in.
  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    edited Nov 21, 2018 #21
    18majors wrote:


    NBA was in limbo until Magic, Bird and Michael came around in late 70's and early 80's.

    LPGA is envious of PGA Tour, even though PGA is a niche sport by major network standard. Whatever it's, what would PGA Tour be without Arnold Palmer and Tiger.

    LPGA had Nancy Lopez, who created spotlights in late 70's but there have been no successors since. Michelle Wie was going to be it until she took herself out.

    LPGA won't be where it's today without a huge fan base in Korea and Japan. They're indebted to Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, In Gee Chun, Sung Hyun Park and Ai Miyazato.

    LPGA needs to have a string of Nancy Lopez's before they can amount to bigger and better things.




    From the 'Murican perspective here, I agree. Why I think Stone's idea of a channel on youTube or other social media platform would actually do well. The younger kids, from my knowledge, don't even have cable mostly. This can pretty much be four people, two/three tech/camera folks, and someone to interview/talk with the players. Probably should be able to speak Korean, Japanese, and English?



    Oh, and I mean doing more than the "Emoji Challenge" that's currently on LPGA's website. Although interesting, a little too flippant if you ask me.
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 19,946 ✭✭
    18majors wrote:


    NBA was in limbo until Magic, Bird and Michael came around in late 70's and early 80's.

    LPGA is envious of PGA Tour, even though PGA is a niche sport by major network standard. Whatever it's, what would PGA Tour be without Arnold Palmer and Tiger.

    LPGA had Nancy Lopez, who created spotlights in late 70's but there have been no successors since. Michelle Wie was going to be it until she took herself out.

    LPGA won't be where it's today without a huge fan base in Korea and Japan. They're indebted to Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, In Gee Chun, Sung Hyun Park and Ai Miyazato.

    LPGA needs to have a string of Nancy Lopez's before they can amount to bigger and better things.




    Unfortunately, the LPGA doesn't really control the pipeline that feeds the tour. I agree with Jessica Korda in that the U.S. needs to have a proper development program for young players, otherwise there won't be a dominant American player in the near future.
  • GoGoErkyGoGoErky Members Posts: 1,060 ✭✭
    ROI. Money gets spent where it’s going to get the best return. The guys in the Ruro tour could say the samething. They have a good product but it’s not the pga tour so the purses there aren’t as much. It’s pretty simple economics
  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,599 ✭✭
    I think the big overlooked part of this is why is men's golf more widely watched than women's? It is simply because men's golf is the pinnacle of the sport, the best of the best. Longer, higher, faster, etc etc (better short games .. )



    This of course equals more viewers = more TV $$$$ = greater appeal to sponsors



    This is not rocket science.



    The same applies for soccer (football), basketball, hockey or any other national sports where women have competitive teams
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  • ChronicSlicerChronicSlicer Members Posts: 909 ✭✭
    18majors wrote:




    LPGA needs to have a string of Nancy Lopez's before they can amount to bigger and better things.




    I`ll apologize on her behalf, Lexi Thompson can`t do it alone, she tried and it didn`t turn out all that well. But she will be back again in 2019, carrying the torch for the Americans. It does appear a small handful are making a run as of late. For now Lexi will continue to hit the gym and work on her back muscles, as they need to be in top form. image/cool.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='(cool)' />
  • WestTexWestTex Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    cardoustie wrote:


    I think the big overlooked part of this is why is men's golf more widely watched than women's? It is simply because men's golf is the pinnacle of the sport, the best of the best. Longer, higher, faster, etc etc (better short games .. )



    This of course equals more viewers = more TV $$$$ = greater appeal to sponsors



    This is not rocket science.



    The same applies for soccer (football), basketball, hockey or any other national sports where women have competitive teams




    I don't think anyone here is overlooking that. I think we're all very aware of it, just trying to think of ways to maximize the returns and viewership with a supposed inferior product. I say supposed because any of the ladies on tour can clean me with one arm.



    I do believe the disparity between men in women in golf is much more narrow than other sports in terms of ability. Not trying to start a debate on the matter, just that there's still much work to be done to showcase the women's game.
  • GolfnuckGolfnuck Posts: 588 ✭✭
    edited Nov 21, 2018 #27
    Well Randall I have my own rant to post ........ you are full of s'hit !



    Capitalism - look it up.



    I suppose in your world every golfer should make the same amount of money both men and women.



    Let's take the pool of PGA and LPGA purses and dole it out evenly among all the top 300 men and women golfers in the world.



    Tyler McCumber number #300 will make as much as Justin Rose #1 and they will make the same as Hikaru Yoshimoto #300 and Ariya Jutanugarn #1.



    Sponsorships have little to do with **** and everything to do with exposure and the ability to market and give maximum exposure for the sponsor.



    In these types of discussions members of the press that try to get maximum clicks thru baiting a subject do not try to dive deeply into the subject otherwise they should also make note that the sponsors have to be diligent in how they spend their money and if it doesn't give them the right results they will spend the money elsewhere or see their stock prices take a hit.



    If men's golf were to drop completely off the face of the earth in terms of eyeballs on TV does anyone think that the sponsorship purse continue to be where they are today.
  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,219 ClubWRX
    cardoustie wrote:


    I think the big overlooked part of this is why is men's golf more widely watched than women's? It is simply because men's golf is the pinnacle of the sport, the best of the best. Longer, higher, faster, etc etc (better short games .. )



    This of course equals more viewers = more TV $$$$ = greater appeal to sponsors



    This is not rocket science.



    The same applies for soccer (football), basketball, hockey or any other national sports where women have competitive teams




    Please don't be logical Uncle Cardie. Sheesh.
  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,219 ClubWRX
    Quit keeping score, no cuts, forget the payouts for every event and give out participation ribbons. That way no one's feelings are hurt.
  • Raving ShankerRaving Shanker Posts: 277 ✭✭
    The problem facing all women's sport is women! They don't watch enough sport, and when they do they watch the men - even more than men do.



    Realistically, I think the 6:1 earnings ratio in favour of men's golf is about as good as the LPGA can get until the culture changes i.e. more women participating in golf and watching pro golf. Forget feminism, they just want women to get the same money without considering where that money comes from.



    One thing that could change this is collaboration between the PGA and the LPGA. Around the time of the International Crown i expressed the view that a mixed IC tournament could be a season highlight. The PGA would be wrong to think that they would just be sharing the spoils with the LPGA. Done well, it could grow the pie for both organisations. And anyway, the PGA shouldn't be sitting back and resting on their laurels. Tiger won't be around for ever. The problem would be getting the male players committed and believing in it.



    By the way, tennis already has an international mixed tournament, the Hopman Cup, held in Perth Australia, around Christmas. But it's just a hit and a giggle - and I think such events actually demean the sport rather than build it. But tennis has the problem that men and women cannot actually play each other head to head on the court in a serious manner. But with golf, I think it can be arranged.
  • fredogolferfredogolfer Posts: 195 ✭✭

    WestTex wrote:


    Very good point about Duffy and his tenure. I guess I'm just really paranoid about the LPGA because if I start watching a TV show, they inevitably cancel it. I'm a jinx. Some have the midas touch, I have the fecal touch.




    Speaking of TV, I know the Golf Channel for my local cable company is an add on. It`s like a little sports/outdoor package I pay extra for. My point being is until I got the added package I had no idea about women`s golf. I knew a few names, but since normal cable never aired the LPGA I never paid much attention.



    Once again, lack of mainstream exposure, lack of eyeballs.






    The only reason I started watching the LPGA is because I came home from church and the Kraft Nabisco was on CBS and they were talking about a playoff and it was exciting. My gym always has ESPN and ESPN 2 on and when they would show the LPGA no doubt people were exposed to it. No way the gym would ever have the golf channel on.
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