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LIV Golf (Saudi PIF), "Mergers," and More


iacas

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Tyrrell Hatton joins Rahm along with Caleb Surratt and Keiran Vincent. Rumor from normal twitter sources put Hovland in talks.

Certainly, with an open door on European Ryder Cup side, I’d expect more people to go. Only time will tell. 

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Rory would make a great politician....sounds like he is flip flopping again by wanting the LIV players eligible to play in PGA tournaments.

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The launching of PGA Tour Enterprises comes eight months after the PGA Tour signed a framework agreement with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf.

Not sure how this affects things but it positive for the PGA Tour players.

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I'm waiting for someone to explain to me how "equity" works given that Tiger is basically done, Rory is getting older, some of the players who have "career achievements" are on LIV but still contributed when they were on the PGA Tour, and future players… are going to constantly come into the PGA Tour.

How do you keep giving people equity? Do Charlie and Sam get Tiger's when he dies?

What about Arnold Palmer's estate? Or Jack Nicklaus's status? Do they get equity?

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25 minutes ago, iacas said:

I'm waiting for someone to explain to me how "equity" works given that Tiger is basically done, Rory is getting older, some of the players who have "career achievements" are on LIV but still contributed when they were on the PGA Tour, and future players… are going to constantly come into the PGA Tour.

How do you keep giving people equity? Do Charlie and Sam get Tiger's when he dies?

What about Arnold Palmer's estate? Or Jack Nicklaus's status? Do they get equity?

It may be via an ESOP where ownership shares are given to employees based on a formula then when the employee leaves they sell shares back to the plan.

not sure how that would work with golf since some can stay on tour for a very long time due to lifetime exemptions to some majors.  Also “compensation” can vary drastically year over year and not always related to “seniority”

The business needs ongoing free cash flow to contribute to the ESOP to buy out retiring employees which then makes shares available to the newer players.  

Stuart M.
 

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12 hours ago, StuM said:

It may be via an ESOP where ownership shares are given to employees based on a formula then when the employee leaves they sell shares back to the plan.

Every time a player would want to sell shares then someone would have to re-value the tour in order to accurately place a price on those shares, right?

 

I don't really see (yet) how this benefits the fans. 

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4 hours ago, klineka said:

Every time a player would want to sell shares then someone would have to re-value the tour in order to accurately place a price on those shares, right?

 

I don't really see (yet) how this benefits the fans. 

It could and companies that have an ESOP in place get evaluated at the end of the fiscal year, so it would show up there, I don't think the average Tour player leaving here and there would make a big impact on the valuation of the company, but at any rate at the end of the fiscal year it will be sorted out. Question is, would it be a divided paying ESOP? Keep in mind, you cant draw the ESOP money until you are 59 1/2. If you quit or get terminated then it depends on what percentage you were vested.  Most Tour players go to the Senior Tour at 50 so technically you are "retiring" from the PGAT, right?  Seems the player would have to roll that over into an IRA or get hit with excise tax.  But I echo @klineka. How does this benefit that fan? All I see is the price of admission going up and beer to hit 20 bucks a can.

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I think there's reasonable potential to benefit the fans. Sports are valuable because they are one of few things on TV that people watch live. The formula to increase profits is to get more people watching. Some of that could be from just broadcasting more of the tournaments and selling those rights. Some of that could be from increasing how valuable the TV rights are by making the TV product better.

That said, there are other ways to make the PGA Tour more profitable that could be a negative for fans. I think the most obvious thing would be to end the various developmental tours the PGA Tour runs. I doubt the Canadian or Latin American tours make much, if any, money for the PGA Tour. That may not impact a ton of fans, but is anyone going to see the end of those tours as a good thing for fans? Another way to make more money would be sponsoring everything. They could plaster the courses and bleachers with ads (like soccer stadiums do). They already do this, but it could get worse and more obnoxious.

But, make no mistake, the group that bought into the PGA Tour wants to make money. They'll do that by increasing profits on the PGA Tour and taking some of the profits or by increasing the value of the PGA Tour and selling their stake. It can be done in a fan-friendly way. It doesn't have to be, though.

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10 hours ago, klineka said:

Every time a player would want to sell shares then someone would have to re-value the tour in order to accurately place a price on those shares, right?

 

I don't really see (yet) how this benefits the fans. 

 

I don't think any of this has had anything to do with benefitting the fans.

But then again, what the hell do I know?

Rich - in name only

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10 hours ago, klineka said:

Every time a player would want to sell shares then someone would have to re-value the tour in order to accurately place a price on those shares, right?

 

I don't really see (yet) how this benefits the fans. 

Nobody said the equity ownership was to help the fans.  It is to help the players and maybe-possibly-hopefully encourage them and other equity owners to do something for the fans in hopes of driving the share value up.

Assuming a “closely held company they may have an accounting firm do an annual evaluation, no daily valuations like publicly traded companies.  Players would only be able to sell based on that annual valuation.  

Stuart M.
 

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At some point, though, they're going to have to do something for the fans, because otherwise there won't be enough fans to grow and make money.

Golf companies have said they show their ads too much — they de-value them. If you see an ad 2x an hour, that's plenty. Seeing it three, four, five times an hour… starts to turn people off to it.

These SSG guys will know a bit about how to do this — viewership numbers stink, and will have to climb. Other forms of participation will have to go up. How about PPV channels to watch your favorite player(s) play their rounds?  Etc.

I don't think SSG thinks they can continue to abuse the fans.

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On 2/1/2024 at 7:30 PM, iacas said:

At some point, though, they're going to have to do something for the fans, because otherwise there won't be enough fans to grow and make money.

 

Agreed 100%. Speaking in a broad sense, there seems to this heavy air of over-valuation of the product. The product does sell but at some point it just won't. 

Vishal S.

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It's a two front issue. You have TV viewership which was touched on above, and in person attendance. I don't think they are too concerned with the in person attendance though. Its 80 bucks this year for the API for Sat or Sun not including parking. That money goes to the Winnie Palmer Hospital charity and other local charities, probably a tax write-off for the Tour. 15 bucks for a beer last year, 40 bucks for a hat, 15 to park at Universal and the place was packed, and the beer was everywhere. I wonder how many people do not attend because of the price? 

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Rarely-enforced rule costs star $385k, exposes ruthless flip side to LIV Golf

Say whatever else you will about LIV golf, they are at least serious about enforcing slow play penalties.  I love that about them.  Now if only the PGA tour can learn from this and do the same.

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8 hours ago, pganapathy said:

Rarely-enforced rule costs star $385k, exposes ruthless flip side to LIV Golf

Say whatever else you will about LIV golf, they are at least serious about enforcing slow play penalties.  I love that about them.  Now if only the PGA tour can learn from this and do the same.

The official LIV press release was that he took 2 minutes on a shot where they are allowed 40 seconds, with an additional 10 if you are the first in the group to hit. He had be warned. 

I watched the post round show online for Friday I think it was, I couldn't take it. What's with the interviewer dude with his hat on backwards sitting high up on his head? Feherty is just awful now. I use to chuckle at his commentary. I did watch the wrap up highlights and Anthony Kim's interview. Bryson DeChambeau is good I don't care LIV or not. Funny thing is there wasn't a crowd of people on every hole cheering or yelling crap. You do have the music blaring on some of the holes, but the lack of spectators was strange. We are going to go to Andalucia since its by my wife's hometown and we will be there anyways so why not. 

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What I think, maybe others too, is that those who enjoy sports in general will enjoy attending a live event even if it’s not a sport they generally enjoy. Hell if someone asked me if I wanted to have some wine and watch a polo match I’d probably enjoy myself. So I’m not really buying the ‘LIV atmosphere is exhilarating’ claims that are overly stated.

I actually watched a few shots of AK’s this last tournament (🥴). Don’t wanna sound stuffy but the untucked shirt and basketball shoes look didn’t work for me. The background music is incredibly forced and unnecessary. It’s just not a good product overall to me. And, whatever happened to AK in the past years I won’t speculate ( Artie Lange) but my goodness.IMG_5652.thumb.jpeg.5a3f5e8400669f29d5aa61468727857f.jpeg

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54 minutes ago, snapfade said:

The official LIV press release was that he took 2 minutes on a shot where they are allowed 40 seconds, with an additional 10 if you are the first in the group to hit. He had be warned. 

I have watched many PGA tour broadcasts and have seen players take much longer and have yet to see them getting penalised, other than via a financial penalty.  A stroke penalty is the only way these pro's will learn.  It is like a financial penalty in the NBA.  None of those players really care about it.  They earn too much to care about a small sum for them, but something that is a large sum for the average joe watching golf

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