Nike/golf star Michelle Wie blasts LPGA press policy as 'kinda stupid'
You know you’ve screwed up when even a cuddly 16-year-old marketing phenomenon meticulously trained to never say anything controversial (or even of substance) calls your decision “kinda stupid.”
But that’s exactly what Michelle Wie was quoted as saying in the Honolulu Advertiser when asked about the recent AP/LPGA flap
“I thought it was kinda stupid actually,” she told the paper in a moment of refreshing candor. Then, of course, she slipped back into character: “You want the most media coverage you can get at a golf tournament.”
If you haven’t been keeping score, the LPGA recently put into place new restrictions on press credentials, in essence trying to grant itself use of all press photos taken at an LPGA event - forever. As a result, play began at the Fields Open tournament in Kapolei, Hawaii without coverage from the AP and a number of other media outlets. Even two local dailies pulled their reporters from the tourney (hats off to those reporters and photogs for refusing to sign the new agreement).
When considering this controversy, it’s important to keep in mind one central fact about pro sports and the media: Sports writers (and photographers) SELL TICKETS! No pro sports league could ever hope to purchase a fraction of the PR and advertising that is generated by the press. Owners and promoters understood this was true 100+ years ago when they were trying to sell tickets for the Boston Beaneaters or a Gentleman Jim Corbett/John L. Sullivan bout. And the smart ones (and Michelle Wie) know it remains true today. Fans read about their favorite golfer or team or driver or whatever in the press …… and then think, “I am going to purchase a ticket to an upcoming event so that I can witness this athletetic endeavor in person.” Ok, so that’s not the EXACT thought process, but you see the dynamic.
And there’s no getting around the simple fact that the LPGA Tour still needs all the help from the media it can get. It’s not about to nudge the NFL off its perch, if you know what I mean - never mind NASCAR, NBA, MLB, PGA Tour and on and on. So for LPGA Tour boss Carolyn Bivens and her staff to come up with a credential policy that results in the AP and others not covering an event - an event with MICHELLE WIE in it, for Tiger’s sake! - is beyond counter-productive, beyond “kinda stupid.” It’s just plain dumb.
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And to Michelle Wie, I couldn't have said it better myself!
I would even go so far as to say that the LPGA is on the verge of surpassing the Champions Tour in excitement. Perhaps the purses will even swell to the same degree one day.
You need to better than this to get people to respond in numbers. You tried hard with the headline.
Unfortunately as usual you reporters twist everything.
Wie is not a Nike Golf Star, she is a Golf Star without Nike's help.
Secondly she didn't blast the LPGA, she simply answered a question. I am positive she didn't say it in a forceful or negative way.
Your comments are spot on. Bivens has been granted the Midas touch this season. Let's hope she doesn't turn it into the poo-poo touch.
Dave - Eye On Golf
Also, she should make decisions about what will happen if Wiesy wins a tournament - how that will affect her status in end of the year tournaments.