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Watching Tiger Woods’ struggles on the golf course so far in 2015 reminds us that Tiger’s heyday, in the early to mid-2000s, was the PGA Tour’s heyday as well.
As rights fees came up for television broadcasts, sponsor renewals and the like, the Tour was smart enough to cash in on the amazing popularity of watching Tiger play golf to bring in record rights fees and sponsorship deals.
Today, watching Tiger play golf is more an exercise in watching an accident—we know we shouldn’t look, but we do anyway. Not having a signature player dominating the PGA Tour, the Tour will say, is more interesting because many players have a chance to win.
But do we know these players the way we do Tiger?
Which brings us to the discussion of what’s the “hot” sport to sponsor, to get rights fees for, to bring to your city? Ten years ago, it may have been golf, whether professional or amateur. Over the last decade we’ve seen the explosion of youth lacrosse, fishing tournaments, even bowling (which is becoming bigger than ever on the high school level).
All this follows soccer’s foothold on youth activities, and youth baseball and softball will never go away. So what’s the right sport for you?
It’s tempting to go after the “hot” sport of the moment, but look at what your area can support and what’s popular as a recreational sport in your area. That will help you determine if your facilities are right, and whether you can entice enough volunteers to help during the event.
Because as the PGA Tour is learning, what was must-see TV 10 years ago, is becoming can’t-look-away TV.