Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tim, You've Got a Problem

Tim Finchem participated in a "roundtable" discussion with Larry Dorman of the NY Times and formerly VP at Callaway (the golf industry works that way), TGC's Rich Lerner, and TGC and Golfworld's Tim Rosaforte. Basically, it turned out to be a jumbled garble of business speak, awkward delving into Finchem's interests, and an all around promo for the PGA Tour that did not seem to be too successful.

Honestly, I'm not really sure of the intent. It could have been to make Finchem look less like a tiny robot and more like a vibrant human being. That probably only half worked. He spent a lot of time talking about value streams and sponsorship, but I slept through that part.

I suppose I find the timing of the interview very curious. It comes at a time when Commissioner Finchem is consistently under attack from the very players (PLAYERS?!) he is leading. That's not good PR for him, and it isn't really for the Tour because it then appears that it is the top 5 guys and then a bunch of complainers. The players may have legit gripes in their universe, but when 90 guys were millionaires last year on Tour, the average fan doesn't care about player gripes.

Finchem appears to be fairly shrewd in his planning, although the execution is usually mind-numbing. The guy would not have been commissioner of the Tour this long and paid the outrageous sum he is if the Tour Board did not think he was doing a great job. At a time where the players are making it evident that many of them disagree with that assessment, Finchem had to go on the offensive and make himself known to people as more than the Man Behind the Curtain.

Unfortunately, if you watched it (or have the insomnia to read the transcript from Geoff Shackelford), you may not have gotten the point.

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