[The following post is re-blogged from SAGE Business Cases. Click here to view the original article.]How can a brand reposition itself to make it both accessible and attractive to a modern generation?
Interested in developing a larger audience, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour replaced its stuffy and elitist ambiance by increasing its social media presence and allowing the use of cell phones at golf tournaments. The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA,) on the other hand, continues to struggle with building its audience in the United States and finding and maintaining sponsors. These branding challenges are explored in a case study from SAGE Business Cases.
Your case focuses on marketing and sponsorship issues faced by the LPGA. Can you give a brief summary of some of the LPGA’s recent struggles?
It is our impression that the new commissioner has focused on international initiatives- tour locations, sponsors, media, etc. Also, recently there has been more internationally diverse players and winners than just US and Korea. The international focus is appealing for foreign companies and multinational companies looking to increase their awareness.
Your case study examined how athlete endorsement deals are beneficial for the endorsed athlete and for the sponsoring company. How important is it for a sports organization to have a marketable “celebrity superstar?” Is it possible for this to be facilitated or controlled by the organization itself, or does it depend on a single athlete’s natural talent and charisma?
Both. In terms of long term consistency, a league or tour needs to stand on its own. There are many examples of sport that vacillates depending on the presence of a celebrity superstar. The best situation is a combination where there are many stars who rejuvenate the sport on a continuous basis.
Your case touches on the LPGA’s English-only policy and its lack of emphasis on international players. How can approaching policy decisions through an international perspective benefit a sports organization?
The growth of sport is international. Whether it from a players or business perspective, long term viability has to cross national borders. This is especially true with our case where the presence of international players ushered in an international expansion.
Are similar marketing and sponsorship troubles faced by other women’s sports leagues/associations, such as the WNBA?
Many women’s leagues face many of the same issues. The WNBA has a bit of a different situation. It has a steadier financial situation due to its association with the NBA and the league has some international players. The LPGA has more of an international presence and financial need for it.
Can you share any tips for new instructors using this case in their course?
This case is relevant for sport management and international business courses. The authors recommend encouraging students to be creative with their ideas but use academic research to support their recommendations.
Learn more by reading the full case study The LPGA’s Battle for Success: A Discussion of Sponsorship in Relation to the Organizational Decisions of the LPGA from SAGE Business Cases, open to the public for a limited time. To learn more about SAGE Business Cases and to find out how to submit a case to the collection, please contact Rachel Taliaferro, Associate Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.