Friday, October 30, 2009

New commish for LPGA

[Apologies for the lack of consistent posting of late. I have serious blogger's block brought on by a myriad of other things I need to be doing. I expect to be back into the swing of things in a little over a week.]

So remember how, a while back, Carolyn Bivens was ousted from her position as LPGA commissioner? And remember how there was significant speculation about who her replacement would be?
Yeah, they didn't choose any of those people. The LPGA announced this week that Michael Whan will be the new commissioner. And he will be all about "grow[ing] the global brand."
No word on what that will entail or the methods he will use to do so.
I have to say--and this has nothing to do with Whan specifically--that I am a little wary of how the LPGA plans to increase its popularity. The nearly uncontested view that it is ok for the women in the tour to sell their sport using their (hetero)sexuality is a little worrisome. The article in the recent ESPN Body Issue, accompanied by three tour players draped naked across a golf cart, that really found no problem with these players using [hetero]sexuality to their [alleged] advantage was irksome.
I don't know enough about Whan or his ideas for selling the LPGA as a global brand to make any predictions about what will see in the coming year. But I look forward to commenting on it!


Diane said...

That is the same goal of the immediate past and the present WTA leaders, and it has resulted in a significantly larger presence in Asia. Ironically, it has also resulted in the consistent airbrushing of players' faces to the point that it is hard to determine personality and nationality from the players' photos (which often look, incidentally, like send-ups of 1950s pinup posters).

Sherrry said...

Personally I know nothing about Michael Whan and what his value is and will be for the LPGA. I will say that I am more than a bit disappointed that there was no woman 'qualified' for the job, or I should say interested in the job.

To me Zayra Calderon was more than qualified. Her name was mentioned but once in the short list of candidates early on. Whether or not she was interested I can't say but she is someone who truly understands the brand and was charged with the task of rebuilding sponsorships after the removal of Bivens.

My biggest fear is that there will be a push to meld with the PGA in some fashion. That would most certainly be the kiss of death for the tour.

I can only hope that Whan is the right choice and that he recognizes the talent pool he has
surrounding him and does what he says he will do...listen first, learn then talk.