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LIVE Q&A with Kraig Kann, Chief Communications Officer, LPGA Tuesday, January 17, 2pm ET!


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Kraig will be talking all things LPGA. Ask questions now!


With the LPGA's resurgence over the last year, what better time to have Kraig Kann, their Chief Communications Officer. He’ll be here for some LIVE Q&A with GolfWRX members. You'll no doubt recognize Kraig from his 17 years on Golf Channel. Now, as CCO of the LPGA and the founder of his own media/communications company, he’ll answer your questions at 2PM Eastern Time, on Tuesday, January 17th!

Ask any question before the LIVE Q&A below. Questions about the schedule? Players? Lexi Thompson? Ask away now!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FIRST ANSWER IN THE Q&A

Recently, the LPGA 2012 schedule was announced and things are looking good. Highlights include:

  • The addition of five (5) tournaments
  • with 100-plus player fields and official money, four (4) of which are in North America.
  • An increase in total purse from $40.4 million in 2011 to $47 million in 2012.
  • 100 percent of Golf Channel’s weekend telecasts of the LPGA’s North American tournaments will have live weekend coverage on Golf Channel and the percentage of overall live telecasts is projected to be at least 90 percent.
  • The return to a historically strong venue in Toledo, Ohio for the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic
  • The dates of the major championships have been strategically scheduled as the pillars of the season. The Kraft Nabisco Championship, won in 2011 by Stacy Lewis, will take place March 29 to Apr. 1, followed by the Wegmans LPGA Championship, which returns to Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. from June 7 to 10 - two weeks earlier than 2011. The U.S. Women’s Open returns to Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisc. - site of Se Ri Pak’s historic 1998 victory - July 5-8, where Yani Tseng will look to become the youngest player in history to win the Career Grand Slam. The final major, the RICOH Women’s British Open, will for the first time be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, which has previously hosted 11 Men’s Open Championships including Tiger Woods’ 2006 victory. The tournament will be played in mid-September to avoid conflict with the 2012 Olympic Games in London.



Thanks to Kraig for taking our questions. Welcome to GolfWRX!

More on Kraig Kann:

  • Chief Communications Officer, LPGA
  • Broadcast Talent – 25 years experience
  • Media Consultant – Founder and Managing Director; HTK Media www.HTKnow.com



Career Highlights:

  • CCO, LPGA since August 2011 and charged with shaping and delivering all media messaging for the world’s largest women’s professional sports organization.
  • Founder/Managing Director of HTK Media. Seminars, Media Training and Consulting. Kraig leads athletes, sports organizations, executives and other professionals in the quest to become more media savvy. Shaping the message, sharpening the delivery, selling the brand and sharing the success through real communications experience is Kraig’s aim.
  • Studio host for XOS Digital/SEC Digital Network since 2010 – SEC Football/Basketball.

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[color=#1C2837][size="4"]Glad to have Kraig on, especially with all the buzz following the release of the LPGA's 2012 schedule & the addition of the new "full field" events.

Looking forward to this Chat!

Thanks go out to Kraig for taking the time to come on GolfWRX.com an answer questions from our membership.


Greg [/size][/color]

GolfWRX.com
twitter @gdm43pga

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Hi Kraig-
I have been advocating a team (Ryder / Solheim / Presidents Cup) format event of Asian vs. US (or the world) for several years now. As a proud American I never shy away from a good challenge, and cannot imagine such an event would not be a GIGANTIC $ bonanza with a title sponsor from Korea, or Japan etc.

Why not get this done already? I thought the LPGA got over the xenophobia?

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[quote name='mizuno player' timestamp='1326503527' post='4080549']
Kraig we would love to have the lpga back in D.C.
[/quote]
THIS!!!!!

Also, when it comes to coverage of TGC, why is it that it seems that the ladies are considered "second class" when it comes to actually watching a tournament at a decent hour, and more than just a couple hours of it, when we do get to see it?

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Kraig,

We've heard via news reports some of the different things the LPGA has wanted to employ to increase the popularity of the LPGA. Some strategies deal with players developing better English skills, some targeted at increasing socialable communication with sponsors at Pro Am's, some are aimed at attracting a younger male audience, etc...

Can you provide any perspective on the strategies that the LPGA will be using to bring increase the viewership and appeal of the LPGA to a larger audience?

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Kraig,

Thanks for joining us. It's great to see things turning around for the LPGA. I think allowing Lexi Thompson on tour full-time speaks directly to the LPGA's 'See why it's different our here campaign.' What was the LPGA's biggest challenge from the couple difficult years before Mike Whan was commissioner? Perception? Sponsor interest? Scheduling? What was most important in rebound?

Thanks!

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Great developments in the tour's schedule. Congrats to all! Regarding the Kraft Nabisco... I know it is said by some to be the LPGA equivalent of the Masters, but with the relative shortage of full field events, why not consider opening up the field to more of the tour's member?. It is very hard for the rookies especially to maintain good status, considering how few events they play in compared to the more established players. Seems like the deck is stacked too much in favor of the upper tier.

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[quote name='pga43' timestamp='1326477875' post='4078091']
[color="#1C2837"][size="4"]Glad to have Kraig on, especially with all the buzz following the release of the LPGA's 2012 schedule & the addition of the new "full field" events.

Looking forward to this Chat!

Thanks go out to Kraig for taking the time to come on GolfWRX.com an answer questions from our membership.


Greg [/size][/color]
[/quote] Great to be with everyone this afternoon. Wow... lots of publicity for this. Thanks for the opportunity. I hope to be able to share insight into the LPGA, professional golf, the media and whatever is on everyone's mind. So here we go!

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[quote name='mizuno player' timestamp='1326503527' post='4080549']
Kraig we would love to have the lpga back in D.C.
[/quote] We'd welcome the chance to get to the nation's capitol. Had a great week there last year with Congressional hosting the U.S. Open. Instead of "ladies first".. how about "ladies next".... all we need is a sponsor :)

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[quote name='Outlier' timestamp='1326744205' post='4094255']
Hi Kraig-
I have been advocating a team (Ryder / Solheim / Presidents Cup) format event of Asian vs. US (or the world) for several years now. As a proud American I never shy away from a good challenge, and cannot imagine such an event would not be a GIGANTIC $ bonanza with a title sponsor from Korea, or Japan etc.

Why not get this done already? I thought the LPGA got over the xenophobia?
[/quote] No fear here! It's a terrific idea and one that has been discussed on multiple occasions. In fact, many of those conversations have included more than just the U.S. and Asia... and its been reported that multiple countries could take part in an Olympic style format. Commissioner Whan has supported this idea... and things could fall into place before mid 2012. Trust me, we're on your side - but out of the box thinking has us thinking about taking your idea to another level.

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Hi Kraig,

 

Enjoyed your work on TGC. Glad a good team is being built at the LPGA offices.

 

(1) Is there anything you can tell us about the LPGA making it's way back into Texas. I was a walking scorer at the LPGA Championship when it was at The Houstonian and really miss being able to see an LPGA tournament in person. Texas is a pretty big state you know. bye.gif

 

(2) I would really like to see the LPGA change it's marketing strategy. Selling the tour as a whole is better than nothing. But I'd like to see some of the advertising budget going to to the stories of some of the players, even if it's just in a headline and short copy. Get the golfing public to become interested in, or a fan of, one player and when they tune in to see that player they get exposed to the whole tour. Stacy Lewis is a good example. We all know about her. But think if kids and parents of kids with health issues want to tune in to see what's possible in their future. Kristy McPherson is another good example. And, the campaign doesn't have to be solely about those overcoming health issues, that's just what cam to mind first. To be clear, I'm not talking about what's broadcast during a tournament, but what appears in magazines or wherever else the LPGA can afford to advertise.

 

Thanks!

 

A very big LPGA fan.

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[quote name='pl8nut' timestamp='1326827112' post='4099925']
Hi Kraig 3 quick questions 1. will the LPGA ever come back to New England in my lifetime?

2. Is the rumour true about fans being able to sit and watch the press interviews with the players starting this year?

3. Who or where would I contact to see about job openings with the LPGA? thanks in advance PETER
[/quote] 1. how old are you? 2. yes... select fans are now going to be given an all-access pass to sit in our press room and quietly, respectfully watch the interview process with their favorite stars as part of our "fan zone". Corporate folks as well as part of our "client zone." One of my first initiatives was to change the feel of the press room. Think Town Hall meeting.. with a more intimate atmosphere that takes our fans closer to our stars than any other tour. 3. Contact human resources here at LPGA. Gail is one of my favorites :)

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[quote name='Kraig Kann' timestamp='1326827407' post='4099947']
[quote name='pl8nut' timestamp='1326827112' post='4099925']
Hi Kraig 3 quick questions 1. will the LPGA ever come back to New England in my lifetime?

2. Is the rumour true about fans being able to sit and watch the press interviews with the players starting this year?

3. Who or where would I contact to see about job openings with the LPGA? thanks in advance PETER



[/quote]

1. how old are you?

[b][size="3"]2. yes... select fans are now going to be given an all-access pass to sit in our press room and quietly, respectfully watch the interview process with their favorite stars as part of our "fan zone". Corporate folks as well as part of our "client zone." One of my first initiatives was to change the feel of the press room. Think Town Hall meeting.. with a more intimate atmosphere that takes our fans closer to our stars than any other tour. [/size][/b]

3. Contact human resources here at LPGA. Gail is one of my favorites :)
[/quote]




[b]This worked great at The Titleholders last year (2011). [/b]


Greg

GolfWRX.com
twitter @gdm43pga

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Hi Kraig,

 

Enjoyed your work on TGC. Glad a good team is being built at the LPGA offices.

 

(1) Is there anything you can tell us about the LPGA making it's way back into Texas. I was a walking scorer at the LPGA Championship when it was at The Houstonian and really miss being able to see an LPGA tournament in person. Texas is a pretty big state you know. bye.gif

 

(2) I would really like to see the LPGA change it's marketing strategy. Selling the tour as a whole is better than nothing. But I'd like to see some of the advertising budget going to to the stories of some of the players, even if it's just in a headline and short copy. Get the golfing public to become interested in, or a fan of, one player and when they tune in to see that player they get exposed to the whole tour. Stacy Lewis is a good example. We all know about her. But think if kids and parents of kids with health issues want to tune in to see what's possible in their future. Kristy McPherson is another good example. And, the campaign doesn't have to be solely about those overcoming health issues, that's just what cam to mind first. To be clear, I'm not talking about what's broadcast during a tournament, but what appears in magazines or wherever else the LPGA can afford to advertise.

 

Thanks!

 

A very big LPGA fan.

1. I can tell you that the LPGA has a great interest in making its way into the Lone Star state! If I were a betting man... I'd say it could happen in the next few years. There is certainly not a lack of interest. As with any tournament "add"... there is a process and it doesn't come together easily. Love the Houstonian by the way. And we miss you being at our events! No need to remind me how big the state is.... we love big frontier and can't way to put a permanent stake in the ground. 2. You'll be glad to know that our marketing strategy has a whole new look. In fact... you'll hear "See Why It's Different Out Here" a lot in 2012. Plenty of different things... media center, live chats after player rounds, more tournament coverage on the weekend on Golf Channel to name a few things. But I'm proud to say that we have a new P.R. Marketing partner (announcement coming tomorrow) who is charged with helping me share the personal stories that make our tour great. A Million Untold Stories is a campaign theme... and hometown heroes are a part of it. We want to show players in a light away from the course. :) Keep an eye on various magazines, newspapers and televsion shows! We're working...
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[quote name='Rick Limpert' timestamp='1326826675' post='4099873']
Kraig:

What can be done to make the non American stars of the game more familiar to the average U.S. golf fan?

-RICK
[/quote] We are planning to showcase those players much more this year in our Golf Channel coverage... profiles of those players are a priority. And we want those players to share their OWN stories... we'll provide the platform.

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[quote name='pga43' timestamp='1326826527' post='4099863']
We have had some PGA Tour Player (Steve Flesch, Jason Gore, Kevin Streelman) on GolfWRX.com for Q&A "Chats". Is that something that you and Mike Scanlon can help us set up with your LPGA Players?



Thanks


Greg
[/quote] Yes... our plan is to see if we can promote out players across many platforms. Media, live chats, radio shows, webcasts, television shows. If folks show support for these things.. our players are all in!

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Hi kraig thanks for taking the time.

I am just wondering what the tour sees as the ideal balance in terms of international and domestic events in the coming years. With the influx of talent from asia I am wondering if there is desire to see more new events created outside of the U.S. on a co-sanctioned basis with other tours or if the focus is mainly in filling weeks stateside. Thanks again, congrats on the gig!

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[quote name='DaveAndrews' timestamp='1326813383' post='4098671']
Great developments in the tour's schedule. Congrats to all! Regarding the Kraft Nabisco... I know it is said by some to be the LPGA equivalent of the Masters, but with the relative shortage of full field events, why not consider opening up the field to more of the tour's member?. It is very hard for the rookies especially to maintain good status, considering how few events they play in compared to the more established players. Seems like the deck is stacked too much in favor of the upper tier.
[/quote] [size=2]The Kraft Nabisco is an event with an elite and non-standard field[color=black] that includes top global amateurs as well as top players from other tours. The field criteria of the Kraft Nabisco does not match that of other events by design. It has drawn comparisons to the Masters, both by media and by fans, because of its elite field. We are very proud of the Kraft Nabisco tournament and the iconic place it holds on the LPGA schedule. Thanks for asking... can't wait to get there and you'll see some new things at this year's Kraft. I spent 2 days with their tournament team in December planning to take the event to a higher level![/color][/size]

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[quote name='Kraig Kann' timestamp='1326827960' post='4100005']
[quote name='Rick Limpert' timestamp='1326826675' post='4099873']
Kraig:

What can be done to make the non American stars of the game more familiar to the average U.S. golf fan?

-RICK
[/quote] We are planning to showcase those players much more this year in our Golf Channel coverage... profiles of those players are a priority. And we want those players to share their OWN stories... we'll provide the platform.
[/quote]

Love the [b][i][u]"This Week it's all about ....Me"[/u][/i][/b]! features!!

http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?pid=31658&mid=2



Greg

GolfWRX.com
twitter @gdm43pga

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[quote name='HipCheck' timestamp='1326810359' post='4098463']
Kraig,

Thanks for joining us. It's great to see things turning around for the LPGA. I think allowing Lexi Thompson on tour full-time speaks directly to the LPGA's 'See why it's different our here campaign.' What was the LPGA's biggest challenge from the couple difficult years before Mike Whan was commissioner? Perception? Sponsor interest? Scheduling? What was most important in rebound?

Thanks!
[/quote] I think you're a pretty insightful person.... and all of the things you are mentioning were challenges. At the end of the day, Commissioner Whan is charged with adding more tournaments and providing more playing opportunities for members. To do that... you need energy, dedication to the brand and the sponsor's needs, and a track record of doing good things for the sponsors and fans that have stuck by you. Seeing why its different can't just be a smokescreen... we've got to deliver on what we are preaching. I think people who come in touch with our tour and our players will feel the energy on all fronts. I think we've done great things in a short time despite a tough economy. More to come... 27 events isn't enough yet.

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hi,

any chances of bringing or getting a tournament back in Illinois?,, I think a match play event in the Chicago area would be fun.? Also

what are the plans for events that run the same weekends as male majors for tv coverage....



also on the Gc thing... we should get live at " " at lpga majors I think i would draw more viewers and a chance to learn about the foreign players in the fields... don't know what you can do about that but put the word in


thanks for the chat

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[quote name='tbowles411' timestamp='1326744541' post='4094285']
[quote name='mizuno player' timestamp='1326503527' post='4080549']
Kraig we would love to have the lpga back in D.C.
[/quote]
THIS!!!!!

Also, when it comes to coverage of TGC, why is it that it seems that the ladies are considered "second class" when it comes to actually watching a tournament at a decent hour, and more than just a couple hours of it, when we do get to see it?
[/quote] no second class... I can tell you that for sure. GC loves the LPGA... but the PGA TOUR contract was completed first and there are restrictions. I will tell you that our ratings on Golf Channel were up 29 percent across the board last year and 38 percent for N American events. This year 100% of our N American telecasts on the weekends will be live. That feels first class to me :)

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[quote name='Mizgoodie' timestamp='1326828428' post='4100049']
hi,

any chances of bringing or getting a tournament back in Illinois?,, I think a match play event in the Chicago area would be fun.? I
[/quote] Springfield was a blast... and I hope we get back soon. I'm a Chicago guy myself and would love to end up in Chicago for an event ...... The Solheim Cup a few years ago outside Chicago was a big hit... and folks in Chi Town really love their golf! Who knows.. .we added 4 official events in North Amercia to the 2012 schedule and about 7 million in prize money... so maybe Illinois jumps back on board to keep that train steamrolling.

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[quote name='KYMAR' timestamp='1326828100' post='4100017']
Hi kraig thanks for taking the time.

I am just wondering what the tour sees as the ideal balance in terms of international and domestic events in the coming years. With the influx of talent from asia I am wondering if there is desire to see more new events created outside of the U.S. on a co-sanctioned basis with other tours or if the focus is mainly in filling weeks stateside. Thanks again, congrats on the gig!
[/quote] Good question. And no question our tour is based in America.. so the balance should be skewed toward events in this country. I think the future of golf includes a greater presence in Asia.. and you'll see it across all tours. I would expect expansion on the LPGA in both areas and probably sooner rather than later. :)

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Interested to know if commissioner Whan has given any consideration to another Canadian event? Lots of fans, its close by and in north america still, must be some sponsor opportunities here in the north. Would love to see some more tournaments Canada!

Also any plans on coming back to the golf channel ? You always did such a great job hosting the show " the approach". That show was the best!

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