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LPGA Tour Just Doesn't get it

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The LPGA Tour has lost dates and sponsors, yet, they still don't get it. Aside from political correctness on gay pride, the LPGA doesn't understand the audience they have to reach if they want to expand instead of implode. Womens professional tennis is more successful than mens. Why? Because the main audience for women's sports is men. Most women don't watch sports. Most women would rather read romance novels or go shopping. Women's basketball is subsidized to keep it afloat. Why? Again, men make up the audience.

What do men want to see when they view the weaker-sex-in-sports? They want to see something that is physically attractive to men. Women's tennis has that. Women's golf could have that, but they don't market it.

If there was a huge lesbian audience, the LPGA would do great. The fact is that gays make up a tiny segment of the population. "Dikes on spikes" is what the LPGA is called away from the public spotlight. If they want to change that image and reach the only real audience they have, men, they will drop the political correctness and start marketing the players that have the feminine assets that attract the male sports audience. In addition, they need to hope that one of the most attractive players to the male sports audience takes over the top sport on the tour. Sorenstam looks boyish and is flat emotionally. She has no sex appeal whatsoever, and makes no attempt to have any sex appeal. That's fine, it's a free country, but it will do nothing to improve the pitiful ratings of the LPGA Tour.

Nancy Lopez was the best thing that ever happened to the LPGA Tour, but she's older and retired. Beth Daniel, Betsy King, Karie Webb and Anika Sorenstam, they would get great ratings at a gay pride parade.
post #2 of 34

Oh Brother...

Originally Posted by robertspages
The LPGA Tour has lost dates and sponsors
Quite the opposite, actually. Look it up.

Originally Posted by robertspages
If there was a huge lesbian audience, the LPGA would do great. The fact is that gays make up a tiny segment of the population. "Dikes on spikes" is what the LPGA is called away from the public spotlight.
Way to pull out trash from 1991 to "support" your argument.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quite the opposite, actually. Look it up.
Nice try, but it's you who need to look it up.

Q. Related to that, you guys are again taking January and February off,

just want to know (inaudible) Is it something long-term? What are the pros

of cons of that?

TY VOTAW: Part of it is market driven
As for your 1991 comment, it's very much the image of the LPGA in 2005. You work in the media, so you are not allowed to say things like that with out the rest of the media putting you out of the business. I can say it, and it's quite true. The lesbian groupy contingent is quite prominent at any LPGA event one attends. In the first Ladies US Open at Pine Needles, it was the talk of the town. This isn't about what is morally right, it's about the poor image of the LPGA from a marketing perspective. Let's face it, the LPGA is a loser for most media outlets but it's force fed through the USGA pigyback and in other ways. Cable TV is the only market that will pony up for the LPGA, and that isn't prime time TV. That's right up there with the playboy channel, except the playboy channel is more profitable for the media.

When I heard Beth Daniel in an interview about Sorenstam playing at Colonial, it was pathetic. She was nearly crying with jealousy about how the LPGA has players that can play and it's a great tour. Like it or not, no one can legislate what people like or dislike. The overwhelming audience has no interest in watching Beth Daniel and company play golf on television.

The LPGA can change that, but it will need to take a bold stand on changing it's marketing strategies. The ban on the opposite sex playing their tour isn't the answer.
post #4 of 34

Crankpot

Originally Posted by robertspages
Nice try, but it's you who need to look it up.
The LPGA played two events in February this year, dude.

Originally Posted by robertspages
As for your 1991 comment, it's very much the image of the LPGA in 2005.
I don't think so. I think Paula Creamer, Laura Diaz, Annika Sorenstam, Natalie Gulbis, etc. are the image of the LPGA in 2005.

Originally Posted by robertspages
You work in the media, so you are not allowed to say things like that with out the rest of the media putting you out of the business.
You clearly have no idea what The Sand Trap is about. It sure as hell isn't about the status quo.

Originally Posted by robertspages
I can say it, and it's quite true. The lesbian groupy contingent is quite prominent at any LPGA event one attends. In the first Ladies US Open at Pine Needles, it was the talk of the town. This isn't about what is morally right, it's about the poor image of the LPGA from a marketing perspective. Let's face it, the LPGA is a loser for most media outlets but it's force fed through the USGA pigyback and in other ways. Cable TV is the only market that will pony up for the LPGA, and that isn't prime time TV. That's right up there with the playboy channel, except the playboy channel is more profitable for the media.
Again, look it up. Look at how much the LPGA Tour has grown in the past decade. Look at how sponsors have flocked to the LPGA Tour, and clamor to sponsor events, players, etc.

You're deluding yourself if you think one quote - one that's not even right (and one for which you failed to provide a source or date) - proves anything.

You're quickly becoming known as a crankpot nut...
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Again, look it up. Look at how much the LPGA Tour has grown in the past decade. Look at how sponsors have flocked to the LPGA Tour, and clamor to sponsor events, players, etc.
You think your blanket opinion carries any weight? I just posted something that shows the LPGA doesn't even have the market to get sponsors for tournaments in January and most of February, yet you talk about 2 event in February? "Clarmoring Sponsors"? You are deluding yourself. The LPGA wouldn't even if a network contract for the US Open if it weren't piggy backed as a package of the men's US Open.

Dude, the LPGA isn't prime time weekend sports entertaiment, for a reason. Your comment about the image being these players that appeal to the male audience, that's lame and not accurate. Anika Sorenstam is the poster child for the LPGA and the other players you speak of are not promoted in anyway that would be appealing to the male audience. Laura Baugh talked about letters going out to wear sexy clothes, but it was just suggestion. Needless to say, as Laura said, it was not well received by the most of the members of the LPGA.

Like you, the LPGA needs a reality check.

You're deluding yourself if you think one quote - one that's not even right (and one for which you failed to provide a source or date) - proves anything.
No, your deluding yourself if you think your unsupported commnet about a few players being promoted and sponsors "flocking" proves anything at all.

You're quickly becoming known as a crankpot nut...
I didn't realize you spoke for anyone but yourself. Coming from you, it doesn't bother me in the least. I'm a successful professional with a wife and three children. I think the fact that you called me that speaks to your own issues. I speak my mind, regardless of political correctness. If you can't handle that, it's silly to call me names. I'm well educated and a successful professional , so you can knock that off.

If my comments offend you, just say so. I won't change them, but at least I'll know why you are spewing out childish names like a cry baby.
post #6 of 34

Errr..

Originally Posted by robertspages
You think your blanket opinion carries any weight?
It's not an opinion. I asked you to look up facts about how much the LPGA Tour has grown in the past decade. You refuse to do so, and until you do, there's really not more to say. You're just mouthing off with no factual foundation whatsoever.

Originally Posted by robertspages
Dude, the LPGA isn't prime time weekend sports entertaiment, for a reason.
Nobody ever said it was.

Originally Posted by robertspages
Like you, the LPGA needs a reality check.
And you're the one to give it to them? Your sanity check has already bounced.

Originally Posted by robertspages
I think the fact that you called me that speaks to your own issues.
I've never called you. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Originally Posted by robertspages
I speak my mind, regardless of political correctness. If you can't handle that, it's silly to call me names. I'm well educated and a successful professional , so you can knock that off.
The well-educated part is not showing through. Your behavior is rather lame.

We don't care to ban too many people around here, but you'd do well to shape up a little bit. Tolerating you is starting to get tedious.
post #7 of 34
I'd watch more often if there were some cuter girls.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
You're just mouthing off with no factual foundation whatsoever.
I quoted the commissioner of the LPGA, and your factual foundation is Scott's big mouth and empty opinion.

You have been calling people names and called me a "crankpot nut". Now, because you don't like my opinion you are talking about banning me.

This site is lame, as my threads are the ones that have drawn the most attention and interest.

I'll do you a favor, pal, I'll find another board that doesn't have a name calling cry baby that moderates it. Good luck with your one thread response about every two days.

If I moderated the board, you'd get somewhere. With you, you have the same losing hubris as the "Dikes on Spikes" Tour.
post #9 of 34

Grow up

Originally Posted by robertspages
I quoted the commissioner of the LPGA, and your factual foundation is Scott's big mouth and empty opinion.
Who the hell is Scott? Cut the crap man.

Originally Posted by robertspages
You have been calling people names and called me a "crankpot nut". Now, because you don't like my opinion you are talking about banning me.
No, I talked about banning you because you're abusing the forum. It has nothing to do with disagreeing with your opinion.

Originally Posted by robertspages
I'll do you a favor, pal, I'll find another board that doesn't have a name calling cry baby that moderates it.
Good riddens and Godspeed.

Originally Posted by robertspages
If I moderated the board, you'd get somewhere. With you, you have the same losing hubris as the "Dikes on Spikes" Tour.
I'm glad you think so. Again, ta ta.
post #10 of 34
Hmm, not sure I want this back on top as a thread, but the topic's entertaining and I thought I would actually bring a couple facts (the horror <g>) and some opinions on this one. My short version - the LPGA's doing just fine given the challenges of women's sports in general (global problem, not US-centric). It could be doing even better if ... (tease - see end of post)

1) First, here are the facts on LPGA growth under Votaw. From 1991 to 2004 - $18.4 to $42 M in prize money; $500K to $1.3 M per event. TV coverage is up as well - to 250 hours in 2004 (to be fair, The Golf Channel wasn't around in 1996 so some of this growth would've shown up with or without Votaw in all likelihood). Here's a website with some data on Votaw's efforts and the LPGA results - http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?mid=0&pid=101

2) Most women's sports have a tough time finding an audience of any kind. Baseball, football, and basketball all have active franchise leagues that continue to increase in value. The only women's league that has any mass coverage (media or fan-wise) is the WNBA and that would be because of the NBA affiliation.

3) Individual sports are an interesting case study - and probably more relevant than the team sports comparison. Men's golf rose in popularity when Tiger has his breakout win at Augusta in '97, then really went big time when Tiger chased the slam in 2000-01. A dominant performance of historical significance got more people watching golf than ever. Ironically, Annika got more coverage for her "participation" at Colonial than for all of her results on the LPGA tour - how crazy is that, finishing 110th in a field of 121 gets her more attention than chasing history. Now why could that be - possibly because Tiger's a minority in a predominantly white sport who happened to have an outspoken father and was nice enough to announce his arrival at a young age with 3 Junior US Amateurs and 3 US Amateur titles before turning pro with the "Hello world" press conference. Annika, on the other hand, had the audacity to grow up in Europe, be white, not be particularly outspoken, and not really announce herself early in her career (i.e. not stroke-breaking records in majors, but the '96 US Open was clearly a sign of the potential we see now). How dare she not say outrageous things ("2nd sucks" - Tiger '97 at Pebble; "Ryder Cup's no big deal" - everytime he loses a match) or have outrageous commercials ("There's courses I'm not allowed to play" - Tiger '96) or interviews (GQ '97). As much as I'm willing to admit that sports is a competitive environment for eyeballs, you should be able to let your performances speak for themselves, particularly when they've been at Annika's level the last 2-3 years. Tiger is allowed to let his performances speak for themselves (come on - anyone ever seen or read a Tiger interview transcript - how anyone can say nothing for so long is nothing short of amazing) - Annika (and anyone on the LPGA side) is not. I would content this is nobody on the LPGA tour's fault - the media chooses not to let the performances speak for themselves, but instead to wonder why nobody cares. Here's an example from Tim Dahlberg (who should know better) - http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/new...v=ap&type=lgns

4) The equally interesting comparison is women's tennis, which started to surpass men's tennis in viewership when Venus and Serena Williams began playing each other in big tournaments with frightening regularity (ironically most of the top men's tennis players were non-Americans with lots of vowels in their names). The Williams have many of the key criteria for winning over the US media - first and foremost they're American; they're black in a sport dominated by white players who frequently grew up in well-to-do circumstances; they came out of a really bad neighborhood; they have a really outspoken father who says things that are often as outrageous as they are incorrect. All of this is stuff the media loves - meanwhile Lindsay Davenport has won 3 majors and all anyone does is yawn; the media's more excited about Ashley Harkleroad (ranking about 250, titles won = 0) for her alleged looks than they ever were about the Belgium duo of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardine (who at one point won 3 of 4 Grand Slams). Make no mistake - if Justine and Kim were from DC instead of Belgium, they would've gotten a ton more run. I guess that makes the WTA just as lame as the LPGA, eh?

So the LPGA has a couple choices - pray that the emerging crop of young American players (Paula Craemer, Aree Song, and who's that other one - oh, yeah, Michelle Wie) can start winning big titles soon and get some PR coverage, or they can start a fund to invest in promising youngsters in economically challenged neighborhoods in big cities with outspoken parents and some fashion sense, then hope they have enough talent to make it to the big time without getting injured or encountering the yips from the pressure of an entire tour being on their shoulders.

My guess - they bet the ranch on Michelle Wie and she'll get more coverage and fans watching the first time she wins a major than Annika will if she wins all 4 this year. Sad but true - and completely unfair to Annika and the LPGA Tour - that they'll get the most coverage when they're able to say "Michelle against the World at this year's major - see who wins" (i.e. the Tiger 2000 campaign LPGA style). Also sad but true - people who would never have an investment portfolio in any one stock will throw everything behind Michelle (ticker WIE) instead of behind the entire crop (ticker LPGA) - we all know what kind of risk a non-diversified portfolio can set you up for, right? The most ironic of all results would be that the next generation of LPGA superstar(s) comes from somewhere other than the US, the media calls them boring (again), then asks why fans yawn (but enough about March 2005 for the LPGA). Viva Michelle! will be the mantra around LPGA HQ for a long time to come. If Michelle's got any minority family members anywhere in the family tree, we'll be hearing plenty about them, too.

So in short - to anyone who calls the LPGA out as a failure over the last couple of years or as an organization that "doesn't get it" - what path would you have them take given their choices?

Sorry - if I had more time this would've been shorter <g> - storytime for the kids, gotta hop ...
post #11 of 34

The Golf Channel

Originally Posted by fromthefringe
to be fair, The Golf Channel wasn't around in 1996
Yeah, it was.

The Golf Channel's first live televised tournament was the Dubai Desert Classic, which aired January 19-22, 1995.
And I find your insinuation or flat out inference that the LPGA would be better off if Annika was black to be appalling. Maybe if she were American, we'd care more about it (those of us who are Americans, anyway). You bet. Duh - we've always loved homegrown heros. I don't think the color of their skin matters.

Tiger's marketed himself really well. I'm not gonna flag him for doing that. He's backed up his "marketing" with performance. End of that side topic.
post #12 of 34
Erik:

I wasn't trying to be outrageous - just comparing the coverage that the LPGA gets when Annika dominates with the coverage that the WTA gets when Venus and Serena dominated. There are a couple of differences: (1) nationality; (2) 2-on-1 (2 sisters, 1 Annika); (3) skin color. It's hard to say how much each contributes to the difference in media coverage; it's fair to say that each probably plays a part. I'll be the first to say that 2 sisters getting to #1 and #2 in the world and playing in a bunch of slam finals in a row is amazing; it seems likely it would be less of a story if they were white (even if they were Americans) given tennis' history as a predominantly white sport.

The larger point is that there's little in this situation that the LPGA can do differently to market it's product (which is right now dominated by Annika). Just as the PGA Tour and Tim Finchem got too much credit for being in the right place when Tiger emerged (and I think Finchem's one of the best sports commissioners around, but how convenient that the last 2 contract negotiations with TV were in '97 and 2000), the LPGA gets hammered by some for it's inability to get to a larger audience. Given the cards they have, I think they've played them about as well as they could have the past few years.
post #13 of 34
And fair correction on the golf channel - my main point was that the creation of a new channel creates television opportunities that weren't available before, so it's hard to give Votaw or the LPGA credit for the entire lift in TV coverage. Some of it was created by the Golf Channel opportunity, which couldn't have been taken advantage of until it was launched and was a perfect vehicle for the LPGA and other tours to leverage.
post #14 of 34
The truth of the matter is nobody cares about the LPGA. It doesnt matter who they have for a savior.
Why?
1. Men make up the vast majority of people who view televised golf and they could care less about watching people who dont hit it any further than them play on tv.
2. Too many lesbians.

The only way the LPGA will ever get big is if they teach the women of Playboy how to play and make them wear bikinis while on tv.
post #15 of 34
Originally Posted by Ben
I'd watch more often if there were some cuter girls.
Ben, you are my hero. They're going back and forth with facts, numbers, opinions... YOU are the one, who really knows what's important!
If there is Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, Erica Blasberg and Paula Creamer in the final group - I'm watching it and I'll slap my wife if she tried to grab the remote from me !
post #16 of 34

Mommies and more on the LPGA Tour

I know of three moms, off the top of my head, that play golf...Juli Inkster, Carin Koch (recent winner). Kris Tschetter. I don't think they're lesbians, paul02085 Even their husbands caddie for them!

As of 1999, as reported in the St Petersberg Times "More than 40 mothers on tour have more than 70 children, many of whom accompany them from tournament to tournament. The numbers are expected to keep growing." and,

May 7, 2005 as reported in the Rocky Mountain News "the tour provides the service (daycare) at more than 25 stops, from Palm Springs, Calif., to Williamsburg, Va. Day care also will be provided at the U.S. Women's Open from June 20-26 at Cherry Hills Country Club." Also noted in the same article.."Carin Koch of Sweden, once voted the sexiest player on the LPGA Tour..."

Yes, a little bit of sex appeal does help the Tour. And, the idea of lesbians on tour is way off base. Men usually call a woman a lesbian if they are outdriven and outplayed by ladies. You know, the "weaker sex" syndrome.

They hit and play and score better than any non-professional male golfer and men have a problem with that so instead of just admitting that they're just tremendously good golfers, they try and belittle them by calling them lesbians.

And, by the way, if you've seen Playboy or Penthouse lately, not all lesbians look like men
post #17 of 34
Well i think some of these roberts comments are rediculous. The LPGA tour has grown a whole lot since it was first started. I was just at the Kingsmill LPGA event last weekend and i talked to many people who are real proud the this tour and of the growing liking and participation.

And i disagree there are many pretty ladies on the tour. Including Annika.

Come on and whoever said that knowone cares about the LPGA is also kind of rediculous. I care about it. Come on the LPGA is doing great and obviously there is much growing interest.
post #18 of 34
I can actually name bunch of good lookin ladies on the tour. Wont list them all.

Come on im just pushing my luck aint i.
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