In a concerted effort to build, expand and enhance the sport, PGA Tour and the Ladies Professional Golf Association said they have "formalized their longstanding cooperative relationship by entering into a long-term, written strategic alliance agreement designed to further promote the growth of golf."
According to both parties, the partnership would include schedule coordination, joint marketing programs, domestic TV representation, digital media and "exploring the potential development of joint events."
"The move comes as golf prepares to return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, with men's and women's competitions scheduled for the upcoming Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro," Barry Janoff wrote.
Golf Fans are getting excited about the game again. Now is the time to emphasize an equal partnership for men and women golfers. And what better way to get more women interested in following the sport? AudienceSCAN found 28.7% of Golf Fans are female.
According to Tim Finchem, commissioner for the PGA Tour, “From our collaboration in bringing golf back as an Olympic sport as joint members of the International Golf Federation to our cooperation in helping to grow the game of golf as part of the World Golf Foundation, our two organizations have had a long history of working together for the common good of our sport."
Both organizations said that the alliance "strengthens their relationship and the potential benefits of working together in these various areas (which) are attractive for the overall growth of the sport."
31.4% of Golf Fans attended a sporting event (in person) in the past year and would like to do so again sometime in the future, according to AudienceSCAN research. Jump off that experience with ads that remind them of how much they enjoyed it. Try newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ads: 31.7% of Golf Fans took action based on them in the past month.
"Sponsorship spend in golf reached a record $1.7 billion in 2015. The figure is up 4.8% from $1.65 billion in 2014, $1.6 billion in 2013, $1.51 billion in 2012, $1.4 billion in 2011 and up from $1.36 billion in 2010, according to the IEG Sponsorship Report from sponsorship and consulting firm IEG, Chicago."
AudienceSCAN reports 9.7% of Golf Fans usually try to support companies that sponsor their favorite sports team or athlete.
"Automakers are the most active category sponsoring golf, with 27% of of golf-related properties having a sponsor in the auto segment. Other top categories include banking, beverages-alcohol, insurance, hotel and resorts, media and publishing, telecom, beverages-non-alcohol and credit cards."
"BMW is the most active sponsor, associated with 19% of golf-related properties, according to IEG."
"The car maker was followed by Rolex (15%), Anheuser-Busch (14%), Emirates (14%), MasterCard (12%), Coca-Cola (11%), Daimler (10%), Fila (8%), AT&T (6%) and Bacardi (6%)."
"On the women's side, among the top-ranked LPGA golfers, Inbee Park has earned more than $2.4 million on the tour to date, Lydia Ko more than $2.3 million and Stacy Lewis $1.7 million in earnings."
Participation in golf experienced a decline several years ago due to the economy, but has since found more solid footing. Golf participation in 2014 "remained equal to the previous 12 months, marking the third consecutive year that roughly 25 million people played at least one round of golf," according to the National Golf Foundation. Numbers for 2015 are still being crunched.