Larry Bohannan nabs a rare sit down with Commissioner Tim Finchem to talk about the demise of the once great event known as the Bob Hope Classic, and it's nice to know that the MBAspeak isn't confined to press conferences.
On the move to The Classic Club:
"If you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards. This tournament for a long time sort of set the bar in a lot of ways toward charitable giving, going back to the 1970s," Finchem said. "They need facilities that they can use to effectively market the tournament in today's world.
"You see all the other sports building new facilities. These facilities allow us to give the customer, the fan, a better experience."
Yeah it really looked like it the last two years!
And regarding the pro-am...
"I'm not so sure that the experience for the amateurs here can't be even more effectively marketed. It has been effectively marketed through the years."
Today's key phrase, effective marketing. As opposed to mere marketing. This man makes $7 million a year!
On the Nationwide Tour caliber field...
"From a field standpoint, you always have in a multi-day pro-am, whether it is here or Pebble Beach, you've got some players who like that format and some players who don't," Finchem said. "That is always going to continue."
But Finchem said it's important to look at the field as a legitimate PGA Tour field even if some stars are absent or avoid the event.
"The tour as a whole continues to get stronger and stronger. The fan base is getting bigger. We've got more stars. Here you've got some international players sprinkled in, I'm glad to see Phil make his debut after five months off this week."
Yep, stronger and stronger, that's why there were more world ranking points available in the Persian Gulf than Palm Springs. Fan base bigger? More stars? Uh huh.
The Golf Channel GOLF CHANNEL and the new TV deal:
"We are going to learn more after the first couple of years of this new schedule.
First couple of years? More like first couple of months.
We see good underlying trends with the Golf Channel. We like their presentation. We think it is getting better."
One key to the new deal is the potential for growth for Golf Channel, which currently reaches about 75 million homes.
"We like the way their distribution is going. We think we are on track for them to be in 90 million homes by '09," Finchem said. "By that time, all of the fan base of the sport will understand where the Golf Channel is. And that creates a really good base for us."
It's all about the base!