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The Impact of Ethnic Diversity on the Ladies Professional Golf Association: A Case Study of Anheuser-Busch and Its Sponsorship Objectives and Strategies

Autor:   •  February 17, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  5,195 Words (21 Pages)  •  1,173 Views

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J. Andrew Choi

J. Andrew Choi, PhD, is an assistant professor of sport management at the University of San Francisco. His research interests include sport sponsorship, brand management, and ethnic marketing.

Abstract

Between January 2001 and November 2009, players of Asian descent won nearly 30% of the 287 LPGA-sanc-

tioned tournaments held during the period. By contrast, only 15 years ago (in 1995), an Asian player won

only one of the 37 LPGA tournaments held that year (Ladies Professional Golf Association [LPGA], 2009). Clearly, a new generation of golfers has significantly increased the ethnic diversity of the LPGA and its tour-

research included 11 semi-structured interviews and two observations at A-B events as a participant. Multiple sources of evidence were collected and analyzed through categorical or "thematic" analysis: inter- view transcripts, field notes, A-B business documents, and physical artifacts. "Selling more beer," "opportu-

objectives and strategies. Contrary to what some have feared about language or cultural barriers as detri-

ments to LPGA sponsorship, A-B expertly utilized the LPGA's growing diversity for its own competitive

advantage through market-driven and awareness-driven goals in its sponsorship decisions.

nament winners. This study investigated whether and how ethnic diversity in the LPGA has influenced the

objectives and strategies of LPGA sponsorship decisions for the Anheuser-Busch Company (A-B). This

nity," and "the best competition available" emerged as key themes in my findings. The increasing ethnic

diversity of the LPGA through the ascendance of Asian players clearly impacted A-B and its sponsorship

Background

This is probably going to get me in trouble, but the Asians are killing our tour. Absolutely killing it. Their lack of emotion, their refusal to speak English when they can speak English. They rarely speak. We have two-day Pro-Ams where people are paying a lot of money to play with us, and they say hello and goodbye. Our tour is predominantly international and the majority of them are Asian. They've taken it over. (Jan Stephenson, LPGA Tour winner, as cited in Kessler, 2003, p. 72) Hall-of-Fame LPGA pro Jan Stephenson made the

above statement almost six years ago. At the time, Stephenson's comments made headlines in the golfing world for what was then viewed as racially insensitive remarks, and she was criticized by then-LPGA commis- sioner Ty Votaw. She

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