“The hardest part is the decision to act. The rest is just persistence.” –Amelia Earhart.

Following reports today that LIV Golf is nearing a time-buying deal on FS1, the next step is for advertisers to understand that buying airtime and sponsorship rights is not the marketing equivalent of drinking hemlock. to convince

At this point, any US advertiser or sponsor expressing support for the Saudi-backed tour risks alienating the rest of the golf industry. As a professional journalist, I am generally not kind to regimes that divide our fourth-class compatriots. Still, I thought it would be useful to ask a big agency adviser how they would advise a client of a brand with a firm belief in sponsoring a LIV.

Of course, an institution worthy of its retainer will tell you to prioritize your goals. it’s long before settling on the property or platform. Yet sponsorships continue to be bought without professional advice, as they have been in his 30-plus years of sponsorship and marketing that I have been in charge of. Usually this is when an agency or consultant gets involved, the first thing they learn is how much you overpaid for the wrong rights.

160over90 SVP/Sponsorships and Partnerships Justin Zambuto said: “What are your goals and what are the successes like? If they are really sold at LIV, are there any real organic fit?”

This is a case of weighing the benefits and burdens of partnering with a disruptor brand like LIV against the cost and reach savings. The only risk the brands that have traditionally sponsored golf are concerned with is showing that they hate it.

Matt Manning, MKTG CEO and Global President of Dentsu Sports, whose client is long-time PGA Tour sponsor FedEx, said: “I put the spotlight on this, but globally there are always sports industry deals going on with countries with questionable human rights backgrounds. That could mean a crypto brand you haven’t heard of yet.But we know this (LIV) isn’t going away and everyone keeps asking about it. From my clients to my grandfather and everyone in between.”

Momentum Chairman and CEO Chris Weil sees the potential commercial success of LIV Offshore. Saudi petrochemical giant Aramco is already one of F1’s biggest sponsors, six he’s also a sponsor of the LPGA European tournament, and has seen little, if any, resistance.

“Clients are asking about it, but in the US, it’s too hot right now to touch it,” said Weil, whose agency roster includes brands like Amex, Walmart and Coca-Cola. rice field. You can attract brands other than the expected luxury cars and insurance brands. “

A similar situation: Monster Energy sponsored Tiger Woods’ golf bag when he returned to the PGA Tour in 2016.

Would LIV be better suited for “edgier” or newer categories such as legal sports betting, CBD, spirits or even chains of marijuana dispensaries located in the same states as LIV tournaments? Would you allow any of those categories? One thing is for sure, all of the competing brands of PGA Tour sponsors have already been approached.

“If your brand has a competitor who is an official (sponsor) of the PGA Tour, it could be a smart move,” said Rick Jones, head of marketing consultancy Fishbait Solutions. . “If you have a long-term desire to be on the PGA Tour, it’s a death wish.”

There is a widespread notion that affiliating with LIV means keeping the brand away from the rest of the golf business. So which brands take the risk?”Generally, I say ‘no’ to any brand,” said Scott Seymour, Octagon’s senior vice president and managing director of golf. I’m here. “I think there is an opportunity for maybe less mainstream brands and brands that are doing business directly with Saudi Arabia. They are opening their eyes wide and stepping into the darker side of the current golf infrastructure. must be recognized.”

Would an emerging brand risk connecting with LIV Golf?

Beyond the political and moral implications of doing business with LIVs, the commercial complexities are numerous.

“If your brand is marketing to women, a LIV is not appropriate,” said Elizabeth Lindsay, Wasserman’s president of brands and properties. Competing with fellow sponsors for attention is one thing she does, but it becomes difficult when she has to compete with the property itself.

There is at least some disagreement about the usefulness of LIV as a marketing platform. Like most people interviewed for this newsletter, Source Communications President Larry Rothstein advises: Complexity has no upside value and money could be better spent. “

Eric Bechtel, Founder and President of Ideaquest countered: These brands will come when they get a TV deal, and they’ll get a TV deal.”

  • Ole Miss has unveiled a new helmet design featuring a camouflage design by Realtree and the brand name in small print, says colleague Michael Smith. This has prompted conversations about whether this is the first time the brand has appeared on a helmet apart from the manufacturer.
  • David D’Alessandro, former CEO of John Hancock, told me that the actual return on the brand’s marketing efforts is more important than the cost of the transaction. “What I really want to know is what would my cut be if I didn’t do this sponsorship and what else could I do with that same money to get a more tangible return? “The CEO should either require the measurement of earnings or require that the transaction not be made.”
  • MetLife Stadium has signed India-based technology consultancy HCLTech as its primary sponsor, replacing longtime sponsor SAP, reports SBJ’s Ben Fischer. HCLTech will also take the technology consulting category and become known as the “Official Digital Transformation Partner” of both the Jets and Giants.
  • The PGA TOUR and Kowa have reached a multi-year deal to make the company’s Vantelin brand the official pain gel, cream, patch, tape and support sleeve for the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR champions, reports SBJ’s Eric Prisvel. Kowa will also be his marketing partner as the first Japanese official of the PGA Tour.
  • TGI Sport has acquired Sportseen, a London-based digital advertising sales company that specializes in fieldside LED board advertising, reports SBJ’s Chris Smith. TGI is co-owned by Bruin Capital, and Bruin founder and CEO George Pyne said he expects region-specific virtual advertising will eventually become the norm.

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