Sep 16, 2023

SBJ Unpacks: Tiger Woods gets bigger voice in PGA Tour’s future

Tonight in Unpacks: As the PGA Tour begins to repair the relationship with its disgruntled players, it’s adding one of the most important voices in golf to its policy board -- Tiger Woods. SBJ’s Josh Carpenter reports on how this and other moves are an attempt to heal the PIF rift.Other headlines:

In this morning's Buzzcast, SBJ’s Abe Madkour starts August giving perspective on:

The PGA Tour made another effort to mend relations with players following the fallout from the framework agreement with Saudi Arabia's PIF, announcing new transparency measures and also adding Tiger Woods to its Policy Board, reports SBJ's Josh Carpenter.

Woods' addition to the board comes as a player director. As part of the transparency agreement, the Tour said it would amend the policy board's governing documents so no major decisions could be made without the approval of the player directors. The framework agreement with the PIF was notably put in place largely in secrecy and with little to no player input. The Washington Post reported that the moves came just a day after Woods and 40 other players sent a letter to the Tour and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan demanding more say in the future. One of the requests in the letter was for Woods to be added to the board.

In this week’s SBJ Forum, Publisher and Executive Editor Abe Madkour shares his thoughts on Wasserman's acquisition of CSM Sport & Entertainment, which has been one of the most talked about stories in agency circles for the last week.

"My biggest takeaway from Wasserman’s acquisition of CSM Sport & Entertainment is that it immediately gives it enhanced global reach and expertise. It was known that CSM was in play for some time before Wasserman announced an agreement earlier this month, with the deal expected to close this quarter. Both companies share investment by Providence Equity -- the firm became owner of CSM’s Chime Communications in 2015 and invested in Wasserman in 2022 -- and while sources tell me that CAA Sports and United Talent Agency looked at CSM closely, many felt the Providence connection would help Wasserman land the deal."

The Super Bowl will see its first alternate telecast this season, as Nickelodeon will carry the game live with a production catered to kids, reports SBJ's John Ourand.

CBS Sports will produce the main coverage of Super Bowl LVIII for CBS and Paramount+ on Feb 11. The Nickelodeon telecast will look a lot like previous NFL games on the channel, with on-field graphics, guest reporters and virtual filters. While this will be the first Super Bowl with an alternate telecast, this is not the first time Nickelodeon has carried an NFL playoff game.

The Blues lean into their musical origins with a new “Rhythm and Blues” marketing and philanthropic campaign that highlights the St. Louis region’s blues music scene and supports local artists, reports SBJ's Alex Silverman.

The team is partnering with three nonprofit organizations -- the National Blues Museum, Gateway Arch Park Foundation and Kranzberg Arts Foundation -- on activations at upcoming music events, beginning on Saturday in honor of International Blues Music Day. During the season, the team plans to hire from the National Blues Museum’s network of musicians to perform before games inside and outside Enterprise Center this season.

The cord-cutting trend appears to be speeding up this year, as every cable channel that carries lives sports has suffered significant subscriber drops since the beginning of 2023, reports SBJ's John Ourand off Nielsen’s most recent estimates. Overall, the total multichannel audience, which includes cable, satellite and vMVPDs, has dropped by more than 3.1 million subscribers in the past eight months. In January, that figure was at 78.889 million homes; as of August, its distribution is at 75.783 million homes.

This viewership-focused week's SBJ Media newsletter also covers:

Tonight's op-ed comes from Matthew Wein, a longtime security expert who worked for Congress and the DHS, on the security lessons governments can take from sports entities.

"The security workforce is another area where the government can learn from sports franchises. Security teams in the private sector are already working on cross-domain security problems together. As the government recruits new talent, will they present an old security mindset to new faces or embrace the present day? Cross-domain issues will increasingly be a native feeling for talent as those now entering the work force will be used to seamlessly moving back and forth between their digital lives and personas and the real world. Sports franchises’ parallel focus on both domains prepares their staff for the future threats that we face."

Read the full submission here.

Tonight in Unpacks