The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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The Importance of Rebranding ?

The most powerful industry in America has long been the advertising business.  Who else can “influence” you buy a particular deodorant or automobile or how to vote?

It took many years for me get interested in sports.  For me, sports is just another subsidiary of the advertising business.

Take the PGA or Professional Golf Association as an example.  Their apparent job is to promote golf, organize golfers, and lobby for the golfing industry.  Their real job is bring eyeballs to advertisers, also known as sponsors.  Every tournament is a profit/loss statement.  The sponsors pay the PGA money to bring attention to their product or their brand.

There is an interesting controversy in the industry currently.  The Saudis are developing a competitive golf league (LIV).  So far, about 17 of the PGA’s best players will play in LIV’s first tournament this weekend, for which they have been suspended by the PGA.  Who cares?  PGA fans will not get to watch some of their favorite players.

The real victims of this new competitive league are the people of Saudi Arabia!

Unlike the PGA, who gets most of their money from business sponsors, the LIV players are being paid by the Saudi Sovereign Investment Fund, which theoretically supports the investment needs of the Saudi nation, such as infrastructure.

The Saudis are spending big bucks from their Sovereign Investment Fund for the new LIV golfers.  One popular player is getting paid $200 million upfront.  Another is getting $150 million.  It is rumored that Tiger Woods was offered a cool billion dollars to leave the PGA and play for LIV.  (To his credit, Tiger knows there are more important things in life than money.  He should!)

To an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), I find it a clear breach of fiduciary duty for the Saudis to use their sovereign investment funds to rebrand themselves in association with wholesome, healthy golf . . . instead of remaining branded as a murderous human rights abuser.