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Household budget instead of ducat donkeys – the new reality in the LIV Golf League

Jul 28, 2022; Bedminster, NJ, USA; Former President of the United States Donald Trump hits a tee shot during the LIV Invitational Pro-Am at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Saudis give the party crusher: cornucopia of prize money keeps bubbling up, but teams are on their own. If you play well, you live well.

Paulina Gretzky-Johnson slips into the role of the thrifty Swabian housewife in the 4Aces. Coffee freak Phil Mickelson is the quartermaster and breakfast cook for his HyFlyers. “Iceman” Henrik Stenson, treasurer of the Majesticks, watches over the team’s money with eagle eyes. “Mad Scientist” Bryson DeChambeau indulges in lengthy lists of formulas and creates profitability plans for his Crushers that only he understands anyway. Well, it’s not that far in the LIV camp, whose tents are currently pitched in Orlando/Florida. But the competitive circuit has entered a new reality as it enters its second year.

Extravagances are over
The LIV Golf League’s Saudi financiers are providing the party crusher after pumping out $1.15 billion to seed their construct. No more flying amusement shack in the form of a Boeing 747, first and business class flights as well as luxury hotel floors for players, their entourage and caddies have been canceled, the dolce vita with gala dinners and big parties has been slimmed down a lot: the extravagances have a End, the ducat donkey PIF (Public Investment Fund) is closing. Although the cornucopia of prize money is still lavishly flowing and there is also a minor alimony: But the teams, which in the meantime often operate as Limited Liability Company (LLC), will act independently from this year on.

The prosperous world is beginning to crack
They are largely on their own, should live from what they have earned and what they have earned – in line with the now activated franchise concept with the four revenue pillars of prize money, sponsorship, merchandising and a share of the profits of the league. For the time being, the captains are the sole owners – as long as no outside investors or shareholders have been found – and have to set the direction in terms of budget and business. The principle of the household budget rules, and immediately there is gossip. The prosperous world staged by impresario Greg Norman is beginning to crack. Not least because of the expansion from ten to 14 events, which most players were not aware of or even aware of when they signed the contract.

A share of the team rating goes into the team fund
The biggest stumbling block, however, is the distribution of the money, what else. Because while the players are still allowed to keep the individual prize money they have won, their share of the premium for the team ranking, which is also played at every event, has been flowing into the team coffers since this year. Ideally, all costs of business operations and all operating costs should be paid from this. However, only the three best teams in each event in the three million dollar, $1.5 million, $500,000 staggering participate in the five million dollar endowment. In short: if you play well, you live well; those who struggle around in the back field have to tighten their belts.

Franchise concept initially only costs money
So most of the supposed land of plenty LIV-League of Saudi-Zaster graces had not imagined. Or as one player grumbled at a meeting on the sidelines of the last event in Tucson: “Then why are we standing on a podium as a team and splashing champagne at each other if we don’t get any money?” The one with the motto “One for all, all for one” some people just have to internalize first.

In addition, the franchise concept is still in its infancy and – regardless of the general prospects of success anyway – is definitely not making any money at the moment. Rather, it costs money. Greg Norman, the Pied Piper, has constantly chanted the mantra of the golf professional as a self-employed, independent entrepreneur; now it’s revealed what’s behind it. Gone are the sole proprietor golf pros, who left most things to their agents anyway and concentrated on playing.

Team Managers and Legal Counsel
In the LIV version 2023, the teams or their captains have to organize the business operations of a company. So they hire team managers and legal advisers, have logos designed and team clothing sewn, have to deal with operating costs, salaries for team staff or reserve players, expense accounts and various contractual aspects, tinker with their business model. Just like management in any team sport. “You can’t do it alone,” says Mickelson: “We need support from many different areas. So you have to jump over your shadow and ask others for help.”

Source: golfpost