Global Edition

Addressing Pressing Golf Matters

3.22pm 24th October 2017 - Opinion

Giles Morgan’s call for golf to modernise will continue to resonate within the industry.

Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship with HSBC, struck a chord with many golfers and golf officials during a presentation at the award-winning All That Matters conference in Singapore, Asia’s leading music, sports and entertainment industry gathering.

Giles Morgan

One of golf’s most high-profile sponsors, HSBC’s portfolio of events includes this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

Speaking during a panel session on golf, Morgan urged those involved in the game to make it a priority to speed up the pace of play and called on professional players to do more to engage with spectators.

Aware that four hour-plus rounds are a turn-off for television viewers, Morgan said: “Golfers need to get on with it and hit the ball. The game also has to shed its pomposity … and players must get on with the fans.”

Along with fellow-panellists Josh Burack, the Asian Tour’s Chief Executive Officer, and Sean Pyun, Vice President and Managing Director of the LPGA, Morgan advocated the introduction of new formats to spice up the game and increase its appeal to a broader audience.

As far as sponsorship is concerned, Morgan said that as business objectives change for companies, so sponsorship must change with them.

He said: “When you think of our golf portfolio, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that we are after certain demographics in certain countries, and we appeal through the prism of golf which has its own sets of values and tradition of fair play. HSBC is going through changes, and probably the most exciting part of my job is you have to adapt the portfolio to suit what the business is trying to achieve.”

The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) was one of the Supporting organisations at All. Spencer Robinson, the AGIF’s Chief Communications Officer, moderated the panel session on golf.

(from left) John Burack (Asian Tour), Sean Pyun (LPGA), Giles Morgan (HSBC) and Spencer Robinson (AGIF)

Jasper Donat, Co-Founder and CEO of Branded, said: “We were delighted for the first time to include golf as one of the featured sports this year.

“We were extremely happy to be able to promote all that is good in the Asian golf business through our partnership with the Asian Golf Industry Federation and look forward to developing the relationship and content plans in 2018.”

Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As the umbrella organisation for golf in Asia, the Federation was pleased to see golf included on the All That Matters programme.

“Not only did the panelists highlight many of the game’s positives, but they did not shirk from addressing important issues that will affect the growth and popularity of the sport in the years ahead. In particular, the comments and suggestions regarding the modernisation of golf need to be taken seriously, and acted upon, by all of us within the industry.”

Presented by FOX Sports, Sports Matters debated the continued convergence of sport and entertainment and covered topics including the commercialisation of golf, e-sports, rugby, India and China.

This year’s All That Matters offered the biggest and most diverse conference programme yet, bringing together over 30 keynotes and 125 speakers who participated in more than 70 sessions across the programmes’ five content tracks, encompassing Music, Sports, Gaming, Online and Marketing.

At night and throughout the preceding weekend, All That Matters delegates were given the opportunity to continue their networking as over 40 bands from around the world entertained delegates as part of the Music Matters Live festival at Chijmes.

All That Matters

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