Wednesday, August 09, 2006

PGA's New FedEX Cup..

Kudos to the PGA Tour for convincing FedEx to be the title sponsor of the upcoming FedExCup. The PGA is trying to create a points systems after NASCAR had unbelievable success with its playoff system. Let us review the new PGA Tour plans.

“Under the FedExCup, the golf season will be divided into three parts: FedExCup Regular Season, PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup and the Fall Series.”

“The regular season will consist of events from the beginning of January to the middle of August. These events will decide the seeding for the PGA Tour Playoffs. The Playoffs will consist of four events between late-August and mid-September. These four events will determine the winner of the FedExCup. Between late-September and early-November, a Fall Series of tournaments will be conducted to finalize the following year’s eligibility for players who do not finish in the top 30.”

After reading that, am I the only one that sees a huge red flag around this championship points system?

* During the first year, all the major golfers are going to compete to say they are the first FedExCup champion, but after that, who knows. Top players including Woods, Mickelson, Singh, and Els don’t need the 10 million dollar prize. They have more than enough money. What they care about is winning one of the four majors. Those are the most important events every year. That’s it. By the end of the year, they want to relax to prepare for the upcoming season.

* Did FedEx receive a guarantee that at least 85% of golfers in the top 30 will compete in the playoffs? If top players do not attend, a lot of the media and general fans are not going to care. This will dilute FedEx’s branding mission. On the flip side, how can the PGA demand that certain players compete? What are the penalties in the do not participate in the playoffs. Let us see what happens the first time Woods decides to bow out of the playoffs. FedEx is going to love that idea…

* My other concern is this Fall Series. Only diehard fans are going to attend these events if no one in the top 30 plans to play. Why would you want to sponsor one of these events? There would be limited to no media coverage. They only reason to sponsor one of these events is from a hospitality standpoint.

NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup has been a huge success for the sport. I hope golf’s new playoff system will help to enhance the sport in the future.


At 4:23 PM, Blogger Patterson said...

Another point to consider are the charities that benefit from each of these tournaments. For 54 years, the Greater Hartford Jaycees have planned and operated the GHO, and have raised over $23 million for charity. This year, the PGA threatened to make the event a "Fall Series" event, which would drastically change the size and scope of the tournament. It wasn't until a final last-ditch effort that its designation was changed to a FedEx Cup event.

All this switching around, it's not good for the PGA brand. They had a great thing going. Trusted, reliable branding.

Let the challenge to the golfers be the courses themselves, just like everyone else who plays (that's why people still identify with the game).

The prize money helps, but at the end of the day, I guarantee Tiger says the same thing - it was never about the money. It was about the gallery at 18 at Augusta, and about putting on that Green Jacket.

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At 11:29 AM, Blogger Patterson said...

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At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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