Friday Four Ball: Money Makes the Ball Go Around
Bridgestone Golf Signs Multi-year Endorsement Deal with Lexi Thompson | via BridgestoneGolf.com
“I’ve used Bridgestone for years and the new TOUR B product is shockingly good,” said Thompson. “It gives me tremendous distance off the tee without sacrificing any performance around the green. What’s more, I feel confident hitting any type of shot the situation calls for.”
That a star of Lexi Thompson's caliber announced a new endorsement deal isn't that unusual. That she actually played the company's products for years without a deal is an eye-catcher. How did Thompson not already have a deal in place given her popularity and exposure?
One of her fellow "Team Bridgestone" players did chime in with congratulations:
Golf Channel, union still at odds as strike continues | via Golfweek.com
Golf Channel and representatives of its technicians union spent most of Tuesday negotiating a new contract, but were unable to reach a deal to end a strike that began two days earlier.
The strike forced Golf Channel to cobble together 19 hours of live tournament coverage Sunday from Hawaii, the Bahamas and Orlando with skeleton staffs. By Monday, Golf Channel had installed replacement workers to cover the final two rounds of a Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas, and plans to do the same at tournaments in California and Hawaii Jan. 18-21.
The union impacted by these negotiations is relatively small at just 350 members. That the Golf Channel has already put into place "contingency plans" that include "replacement workers" is a sign that the members have a tough road ahead. It will be interesting to see how Golf Channel ultimately resolves this issue and how that resolution is received by their viewership and sponsors.
Clubs, Clubs, Clubs
The annual PGA Merchandise Show kicks off next week and golf equipment manufacturers are flooding us with new gear announcements. Here are a few of the more interesting promotional pieces released so far:
I could go on and on. Social media is full of similar content. Of course, there are also announcements of new irons, wedges, putters, balls, you name it, coming soon to a pro shop near you. Everyone has new ways to help you hit the ball longer and straighter with more feel and forgiveness than ever before. I love the silly season. Watch this space for more of the fun!
"As we strive to reach an increasingly diverse, more global fanbase and position the PGA TOUR for future success, we must be equipped to meet the ever-changing landscape in international business, media and technology," Monahan said. "Moving forward with this beautiful new global home in Ponte Vedra Beach will allow for more creative, efficient collaboration among our staff and partners, and will set us on the right path toward achieving our goals as an organization."
Looks like things are going well for the PGA Tour. The money is clearly rolling in and the new facility looks spectacular. But, how does this sign of riches from the world of professional golf balance with the earlier story of Golf Channel struggling with labor issues? It isn't the PGA Tour's responsibility to make sure that the companies that sign distribution deals for their product make money. Something is clearly out of balance though. As a fan of the professional game, and the companies that bring the sport into my home, I hope whatever is currently broken gets fixed soon.