Good morning, golfers. This is Easy Pars, the newsletter that always complies with “Cart-path only” days…unless it’s like clearly a dry part of the course, right?
Here’s what we’ve got for today:
- LIV Golf and the PGA tour battle it out — Live on cable television
- Where did the (LIV) sponsors go?
- Oh, there the sponsors are
It’s time for the first showdown of the season
This is the first weekend where the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will go head to head in televised tournaments.
Both promotions competing to get the highest viewer count. Who’ll get the most eyeballs tuning in to the golf action they have in store?
Not a clue.
I know what you’re thinking. “No chance the LIV event gets more viewers than the Honda Classic!”
But let’s put up a bit of an argument.
It’s a new format with plenty of star power. And we’re honestly curious to see what they bring to the table.
On the other hand, the Honda Classic has seen better days.
It’s been the victim of schedule changes that have caused most top 10 players to skip it in recent years.
Does the network level the playing field?
The Honda Classic will be aired on the Golf Channel. No surprises there. LIV Golf will premier on the CW Network.
Golf Channel is the place where most die-hard golf fans would expect to watch it. So you would think that they surely have a viewership advantage there.
Or do they?
In case you didn’t know, The CW is where you can watch a bunch of entertaining-enough DC comic shows and early 2000s teenage sitcoms like The Flash, The Gilmore Girls, and Riverdale.
It gets interesting because the CW Network ranks significantly higher than the Golf Network and has many more people tuning in.
25th vs 66th.
Also interesting is that the average viewer age on the CW Network is 58.
- Potentially more golf fans?
- Will this make enough of a difference?
- Is the CW Network the perfect network for golf?
There are too many questions that need answers. Too many.
Good news is, we’ll begin to see some of those questions answered, once the smoke clears from this weekend. Honda Classic starts today, Mayakoba tomorrow — both ending on Sunday.
There is definitely an element of intrigue with the LIV. Honestly, we hope it’s incredible.
Think about it. What good does it do to hope the LIV quickly fails?
If it goes well, that only forces the PGA to continue actually trying. While we joke on both PGA and LIV (and will continue) — we’re really rooting for the game.
LIV Golfers losing sponsors. Seems a tiny bit sus…
For many of the players who ended up moving to LIV, the decision was quite simple.
They get more money and more exposure for doing exactly the same thing they were doing before. Plus, they can wear shorts and have a less daunting travel schedule.
It was a no-brainer for pros, like Dustin Johnson. Here’s a tweet (from Golf Monthly) with a great quote from him:
[Record-player scratches, and the golf sponsors get involved]
What pros, switching to LIV, probably didn’t consider? Their sponsors might not see things the same way. PGA has relationships with 100% of the current major sponsors in golf.
This could be because the LIV pros lose their world rankings because LIV events are still not officially ranked.
OR… it could be that the PGA and Big Golf have a symbiotic relationship not easily broken.
Let’s check in with DJ, just this morning, again from Golf Monthly:
Ouch. Sorry, Dustin. Taking a job with more money, only to lose out on a sponsor deal.
So far Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, and Graeme McDowell have lost or ended their sponsorship deals.
Now, here’s a look at DJ throwing out his Adidas gear (probably):
Are sponsors drying up because they’re now a part of LIV?
The official version for most of these players is that they had reached the end of their contract.
It all seems a bit suspect if you ask our own E. Gator.
Silver lining for both advertisers and LIV?
Breaking news (again)! Yesterday, in response to sponsors dropping pros like it’s hot, the LIV announced its first sponsor…EasyPost. (Here’s the tweet.)
I don’t know. After watching the ad, kinda seems like a FedEx knockoff?
But, it could be a great opportunity for companies to get in on golf advertising, and for LIV to generate revenue.
Again — we’ll see.
Memes of the day
That’s it for today, golf fans. By the way, thank you for your responses to our last email. We’re working hard to grow and make 3/week emails work. If you would, please share us with your golf buddies and give us a follow on Twitter.
Means a lot.