LPGA says goodbye Ty Votaw, hello Carolyn Bivens
Remember ?A League of Their Own?? The war was over, they were about to shut down women?s baseball, and commissioner Ira Lowenstein argued with league owner Walter Harvey, shouting, ?I sold your product when there was no product! Now there?s a product!?
Carolyn Bivens might know what he was talking about. Meet the LGPA?s new commissioner?its first female?replacing seven-year veteran Ty Votaw. Her background isn?t in golf, it?s in sales and marketing. She?s a savvy pick, then, because what?s lacking in the LPGA isn?t product, it?s product awareness.
With Annika Sorenstam up to nine majors (and gunning for another one in a couple of weeks), teen sensations Paula Creamer and Brittany Lang coming up the ranks, and amateurs Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel creating new fans every day, Bivens has plenty of product to sell.
How she plans to sell it remains the interesting question. Based on what she?s said in interviews, one of her initiatives will be to ?get the message out that the LPGA Tour players are interesting people.? I assume that means lots of player profiles during televised events. Bring it on?I love vignettes. I?m one of those saps who gets all weepy during those heart-warming ?Olympic moments.?
I?m sure she?ll be getting plenty of input the next few weeks on ?what?s wrong with the LPGA.? Hopefully she?ll see what?s right and get to work selling it.
Sounds like she’s making a good start. She won’t actually begin in her new position until September, but she’s already thinking ahead. When asked about the fact that the LGPA is at an all-time high in terms of viewership and purse sizes, she said, “you don’t tinker with a brand when things are right. I’m going to take the foundation that Ty has laid. I do not disagree with it. I’m a huge supporter of the year-end playoffs and a supporter of the campaign. I’ll build on that campaign; I’m not going to change it.”
Good luck, Ms. Bivens. Here’s to taking the LPGA to the next level.
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I do have a suggestion regarding the age issue. i suggest that the LPGA allow these young players the opportunity of attending Q school (only if it does not interfere with their school schedule) to try to qualify. If they qualify they should be able to play tournaments if they don't, again if they don't interfere with school. After they are out of high school who should care.
Whatever smoke Bivens used to get herself this job has quickly disappated.
If Michelle Wie is very smart, she will steer clear of this mess until Bivens is returned to some cutesy marketing group.
Bottom line: All smoke, no substance.
Hopefully, the members of the LPGA can figure this out before they go the way of professional women's bowling......