LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is making big promises about the future of his league—despite instability, backlash, and uncertainty.
- Last Wednesday, LIV Golf held an invite-only “Upfront” event in New York City, with guests including major marketers and advertisers, in an effort to draw new sponsors.
- Professional golfers Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, and Bryson DeChambeau took to the stage to brag about the league’s growth and plans for the future.
- CEO Norman, in one of his first public appearances since the PGA Tour merger announcement, took to the stage and promised the crowd that the league has big multi-year plans and a vision for the league’s future.
- The promises came after months of well-publicized analyst pronouncements that the league is doomed amid poor TV ratings and struggles to draw large sponsors, The Washington Post reports.
Why It’s News
LIV Golf has been controversial since its foundation, with $2 billion in Saudi-Arabia funding helping to get the fledgling new golf league off the ground and drawing scrutiny for its association with international leaders known for human rights atrocities. That has not stopped multiple professional players from shifting to LIV over lucrative offerings.
As we previously reported, PGA Tour announced tentative plans in June to merge with LIV Golf following a series of lengthy legal battles. This announcement drew further acrimony from politicians in Washington who dragged PGA Tour to testify before Congress about merger details.
Much about LIV and Norman’s futures remain unclear, as LIV continues to struggle with building its platform successfully and is currently unsure if it will operate tours after the next season. A successful merger would also be bad for Norman. As The Washington Post notes, PGA Tour has already clarified that a successful merger would involve Norman leaving the company.
“Have we had headwinds? No [explotive], we’ve had headwinds. It’s a lot of headwinds, but you got to get those headwinds because when people started to understand what we got, and you can speak to the players about this later on . . . they got it straight away. They recognized it. They saw the PowerPoint presentation. They understood the future. They weren’t looking one year into it, two years into it, three years into it. They were looking many years into it,” says Norman.