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« Asia-Pacific Amateur Telecast Times | Main | Jack: Presidential Election Will Determine Recovery Of Stalled Golf Course Construction Industry »
Wednesday
Oct312012

HSBC Suit Slams Tiger And Rory For No-Show, Claims To Speak On Behalf Of "The Industry"

James Corrigan with a nice unleashing of misery by Giles Morgan, "group head of sponsorship" at HSBC, who sponsors the soulless $7 million WGC event this week in China.

“On one hand we are delighted to have 13 of the world’s top 20 here, but of course we’re disappointed not to have the two top players in the world,” said Morgan. “Both have sent me apologies but this is an event which should be regarded by all players as it is by the tours and the media as one of the top events in the world.

Well that was thoughtful of them!

This next part was interesting. Especially if you set it to some particularly depressing Schubert's Ave Maria.

“Therefore I feel strongly that the top players should be here. I believe that golfers have a responsibility to their sponsors. Without the sponsors there isn’t professional golf. I speak on behalf of the industry.”

Speaking of thoughtful...

Morgan has been contacted by other sponsors who share his concerns that they will not be able to justify the huge outlays without the top names. “I feel very strongly, as I know a number of sponsors do particularly, in a downturn, particularly when there are financial difficulties around the world, that golf cannot be immune either,” he said.

I hate to break it to the sponsors, but with Commissioner Growth Is My Mantra's "calendar year" schedule, no downtime, and plenty of folks willing to pay appearance fees, the stars will not play more less and will gear their schedule around who pays. I think they call this market forces, no?

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Reader Comments (22)

Is it soulless because it isn't in the US?
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt
Never seen an HSBC logo on Rory or Tiger.

Banks are in the crapper because morons like Giles Morgan somehow get into senior roles. The deal they signed is a very simple one and I am 110% certain it did not guarantee the appearance of any specific player.

Take a hike Giles.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@Matt - agree, I have always liked this event, not sure why a shot gets taken at it. Honestly, I have to think the fact that Tiger and Rory both were in China on Monday of this week, and played their little event, and then bailed has a lot to do with his ire. If they were at home, thousands of miles away and just declined to participate, I doubt he would be as fired up, and rightfully so I would say - I'm sure that when HSBC ponied up the extra $ to make this a WBC event, assurances were given in terms of the top guys. Bad timing, since I think the deal is up after this year.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
I'm going to guess CIMB and BMW are plenty happy about Tiger and Rory's decisions to skip HSBC. And that HSBC wont be complaining in January when Tiger and Rory play Abu Dhabi rather than Humana.

The reality is there are only a couple names that matter in golf & all of them are only going to play 20x or so on the PGA tour. With more than 40 events in a typical year that means there are going to be have nots than haves. This year HSBC-WGC lost a little luster (although it still has phil, luke and lee).
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
1-800 Jack Vickers---
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
HSBC can't have it both ways - they didn't pay for Rory and TW for China and complain about the "no show" and yet will pay them both for Abu Dhabi in January and will trumpet the fact they have the top 2 in the World. They know the deal - you have to pay to get them to play!
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbayhill bogey
Record profits for corps that have thinned the ranks, and without regulatory guidance, see no need to hire.. No hard times for them, or, are there that many banks in the crapper, when you can borrow for 0, and lend for more than the inflation rate.

Clear example of the myth of self-importance. Thanks for the story, Geoff.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
I believe Tiger Woods has already committed to HSBC Abu Dhabi in 2013, which is a remarkably early commitment by Woods, so I'm inclined to disagree with Morgan. As an aside, I work in Finance and I am always leery of marketing people that touts "branding". IMO, it's the worst type of spending marketing money (huge amount of money across a broad path of media and market segments) because HSBC is already an established brand outside of the US.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
They are too tired!

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/30/sport/golf/tiger-woods-mcilroy-china-golf/index.html#cnn-disqus-area

I will be there Saturday and Sunday. Not going to miss them.... all those two care about is the money, especially for Tiger since he has no chance of breaking Jack's major record.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan F.
minhvungyen, a lot of folks around these parts think paying Rory McIlroy a sum of $250,000,000 (1/4th of a BILLION $$$$$'s) to help NIKE with their "branding" is a fabulous idea.

What's your opinion of that?

HSBC was a top notch bank for the longest time, then John Bond retired...,,
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF, Nike's supposed deal with McIlroy is an athlete-specific deal, likely with his own line of products (my guess is they're going after the young kids who didn't grow up with Tiger). My guess is that Nike needed Tiger to jumpstart their entry into the golf industry, and this is a an expansion on that. HSBC is an eyeball grabbing event type of branding, it's different ... in my eyes.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
PGA TOUR sells itself to sponsors as The Rolling Stones, but when Mick Jagger doesn't show, the promoter has no recourse, still has to fork over millions. In what other star-driven business does that fly? But sponsors don't complain - or, God forbid, unite - because Finchem's boys play the them off against one another and hang the threat of a crap date over their heads. Conniving genius.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLA Man
For the minority who don't know how established HSBC is in Asia, it was called the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation till about 20 years ago. (Does that have a Chinese ring to it or what?) Everyone here calls it the Hong Kong Bank as we always have. (Because the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was obviously too long.)
Anyone who travels round the world knows that the brand HSBC is ubiquitous. Like RBS in Europe, its logo is everywhere. Only in North America is it less prominent, although that's changing. But as far as recognition is concerned, and the appearance of the big two, as long as the tournament is played "overnight" in the USA, there'll be little public attention, so even thinking of paying Mutt and Jeff to appear seems crazy to me. I don't think the sun will be changing in its course to suit brand shills.
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter
I have had a few friends who worked at HSBC.

In HK and the UK used to be called "Honkers & Shakers" internally decades ago.

Now is referred to internally as "H-oly S-hit this B-ank is C-heap"
11.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
a real tragedy........yeesh
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
@Rob - good one; for a customer (as I am) the "C-heap" is now "C-rap"; it didn't used to be.
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter
... and in my (long ago) days of trying to borrow money from them for business development, their more "old school" colonial hands were known as "Honkers and Shaggers", which was not an inaccurate description of their nights out when they came to the big cities!
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter
When I used to try and borrow money from them for business development in various outposts many moons ago, their reps (basically the old colonial hands) were labelled "Honkers and Shaggers", which was an accurate description of their nights out in many a town.
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter
Sorry about that double post ... Geoff's system playing silly buggers with me. Thought it didn't take the first time I posted! Must be the ghost of Sandy!
11.1.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter
As an old China Hand, when I was living out east it was just the Hong and Shang. And acted in HK as if it was the centre of the known universe. When I came to Canada it was established, but a very minor player. Today it is invisible, at lkeast in the east. May have more traction in Vancouver (i.e. Kow-loonie).
11.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
And what's wrong with Schubert's Ave Maria? It's a lovely piece of music.
11.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie

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