One of the main sponsors of the PGA Tour seeks stability and peace in the golf scene

“I think we’re probably all feeling the same. We’re all experiencing this, whether it’s as a sponsor or a fan or the players. "

by Sead Dedovic
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One of the main sponsors of the PGA Tour seeks stability and peace in the golf scene
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport

The arrival of the LIV Golf and the chaos gripping the golf scene has impacted everyone, not just the golfers and fans of the sport. Sponsors of the PGA Tour have felt the significant repercussions, hence their imperative is to return golf to the courses it once thrived on. 

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is hopeful for better days for the PGA Tour, expecting that peace will once again reign in the world of golf. RBC sponsors two major PGA Tour events: the Canadian Open and the Heritage. 

In a media conversation ahead of the RBC Canadian Open, Mary DePaoli, Chief Marketing Officer for RBC, was candid about the future of golf. She emphasized that everyone shares the same emotions; golfers, Tour executives, fans, and sponsors. The PGA Tour is attempting to fix things and is doing everything to move in the right direction, but it's by no means an easy task. DePaoli believes that everyone will need to have a lot of patience.

I think we’re probably all feeling the same. We’re all experiencing this, whether it’s as a sponsor or a fan or the players. 

We are all watching the PGA Tour, right now, try to sort through a business model that has been under some significant strain, and has still not fully resolved itself. And that’s still TBD. So, it’s requiring a lot of patience.”- she said, as quoted by Golf Monthly.

Mary DePaoli (RBC Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer) (L) attends RBC x MUSIC With Special Guest WALLOWS At RBC
Mary DePaoli (RBC Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer) (L) attends RBC x MUSIC With Special Guest WALLOWS At RBC © Kennedy Pollard/Getty Images for RBC
 

DePaoli emphasized that the priority is to stabilize things in professional golf. She shared an interesting analogy, comparing it to flying a plane while building it at the same time. She believes her comparison isn't far from the truth. 

And yes, we must admit that her statement makes sense. PGA Tour leaders intend to make changes, attract fans, and retain golfers, trying various methods to succeed in doing so. Facing an opponent on the other side who is financially powerful is not an easy task, but PGA Tour leaders do not intend to give up.

One of the options, for many the only option, is a merger between the PGA Tour and PIF (LIV Golf). For months, everyone has been waiting for new information regarding the agreement between the leaders of these two Tours, but there is still no news about it. 

Although the initial deadline for the agreement was December 31st, things have changed. Both Tours are facing problems at the moment, and their unity is probably the best option. DePaoli is optimistic that certain issues in the golf scene will be resolved. Her intention is for golf to be the same as it once was and to progress in the future.

"But I think if some of these outstanding questions can resolve themselves — in the short or the medium term — and we can start to put some of the changes that a lot of people were not too pleased with behind us. Hopefully, they can get professional men’s golf back on track and growing in a very positive direction again."- she said.

Mary DePaoli on the transformation in the world of golf

DePaoli expressed that golf is currently undergoing a significant transformation, unlike many other professional sports. She highlighted that various leagues and teams have experienced similar shifts throughout their histories.  

Golf isn't the only sport undergoing powerful changes; it's a trend across all sports worldwide. The imperative for key figures and leaders in various sports is to focus on marketing, attract fans' attention, and influence the progress of the sport. The methods some employ to achieve success are questionable and provoke various reactions. However, most operate under the premise that the end justifies the means.

DePaoli hopes that this period of change resolves itself soon, bringing the sport together in a healthy manner that benefits players, sponsors, and fans. She emphasized that the ultimate goal is to ensure the satisfaction of fans and players alike, stressing that there is still some uncertainty in achieving this at the moment.

DePaoli is well aware of the situation in the golf scene, acknowledging the discontent among golfers and fans of the sport. Such an atmosphere is the last thing she and everyone else want to see. It's also one of the reasons why the Chief Marketing Officer for RBC remains optimistic about better days ahead.

RBC believes in the PGA Tour project, envisioning a future with them, and they hope that their partnership will endure in the years to come.

PGA Tour executives are also pleased to have partners like RBC. As long as they have such partners, they don't need to worry about their future. PGA Tour executives intend to develop many more partnerships and move in an even better direction.

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