Can LPGA make 2016 Olympics more exciting?
The 2016 Olympic Games are going to be held in Rio, Brazil, with the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) getting ready to prove that golf can make Olympics more exciting and attractive.
After being out for over a century, golf was finally included in the Summer Olympic Games again in October 2009 — a move that signals the growing influence of the sport.
The last time golf was played in the Summer Olympics was in 1900 and 1904.
Keeping in view the opportunity to prove its worth in Rio, LPGA officials have started focusing on how to make the game of golf "attractive" for people who take interest in other sports.
Golf has been facing troubles in terms of media coverage and fan following. The sport has not been able to lure a large number of players, although the prize money often exceeds that of most of other sports.
Analysts are predicting that because of the inclusion of golf in the Summer Olympic Games, LPGA officials will hopefully see a flood of interest in the sport.
Although women’s golf also has been in a tight spot lately because of sponsorship issues, new plans put in place by the LPGA officials have helped the sport regain its lost glory.
The LPGA was in shock a few months back when one of its events was cancelled because there was no sponsorship to support the event.
However, due to the efforts of officials, especially Commissioner Michael Whan, the LPGA has now repositioned itself amid the news of the fast approaching Olympics.
Golf had been part of Olympics for some time, but due to opposition, it remained off the Games.
The officials of the LPGA said that the sport has had some problems, brining more people to golf.
For instance, the LPGA had to face disappointment when a prestigious event that is regularly held in Springfield, was abandoned due to the absence of sponsorship.
Sponsorship has been a cause of concern for the LPGA. Gaining enough sponsors for tournaments is not easy, as companies these days pay more attention to fan following and media coverage.
The reason the LPGA does not get as much sponsorship as PGA (Professional Golf Association) is that the former does not feature big names like the latter does.
American female golfers, who once held the whip hand in world golf, appear to have fallen from their grace.
Now, the top spot is held by a Taiwanese player — Yani Tseng. Since America has been the breeding ground for women’s golf, the new trend in rankings affected media coverage.
Another big reason is that the young generation is not coming to golf as passionately as it used to in the past.
However, the LPGA has revamped its plans to promote golf among women, and has succeeded in dispelling concerns about the sport’s credibility.
The news that LPGA has managed to solve its sponsorship problems will help the officials to go in the Olympic Games with a clear strategy, that is, boost the image of women’s golf.
Commissioner Michael Whan recently spoke to reporters and he discussed at length the growing credibility of women’s golf.
Whan expressed his optimism about the skyrocketing growth in the number of professional and amateur golfers.
Whan said that the growing credibility of LPGA in general and women’s golf in particular will grab public attention in the Olympics.
The Olympics can prove to be the best platform for women’s golf to flourish and gain ground in countries that have been stranger to the sport.
"From my perspective, the Olympics is going to give women's golf a global media platform and coverage that we just don't get on a regular basis," Whan said.
If the LPGA makes a viable strategy for Olympic, it will surely help the officials gain the much-needed media coverage and more fan following.
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