Tiger Woods

Forget the history, emotion and sentimentality of Tiger Woods’ win at The Masters on April 14. Let’s talk about the increase in revenues, television ratings and golf interest his victory instantly created.

Final-round coverage and an encore presentation later Sunday was seen by 37.2 million viewers, a 41 percent increase from 2018's live-only coverage, according to CBS.

According to ratings tracker, iSpot.tv, Masters advertising revenue event on CBS (Saturday and Sunday) and ESPN (Thursday and Friday) rose an estimated 40 percent over the year before, with $34.1 million. CBS got most of this windfall because the audience was larger during the final two rounds. In addition, CBS wisely chose to show a Woods’ centered encore of the final round from 2-7 p.m.

A year ago, according to Kanter Media, total Masters advertising revenue was $24.2 million.

Every year, The Masters posts a video on Twitter of the final putt from the champion. Patrick Reed's 2018 winning putt has been viewed 393,000 times over the past year.

As of Wednesday April 16, just two days after the Masters, Woods’ winning put had been viewed 7.66 million times.

TaylorMade CEO David Abeles said this week that his company sold more of the P7TW irons (Woods' collaboration with TaylorMade) in the first seven hours following Tiger's win than the first seven days following its presale launch on April 8.

The PGA, America’s golf industry and thousands of public golf courses are longing for the days when Woods’ popularity sparked a boom in new golfers – especially minority ones.

The National Golf Foundation estimates that in 2017 minority golfers made up 18 percent of all golfers in the U.S., and 25 percent of new golfers. Two decades ago, as Woods’ began his dominance, just 6 percent of new golfers were minorities.

“There is more diversity in the game than there was 10 years ago,” Pete Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports Group and a former CEO of the PGA, told msn.com.

“I don’t think those numbers are good enough yet, but golf is aware of it and trying to make it better.”

Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner, said growing and diversifying golf’s fan base were his top priorities when he took over in 2017.

Woods’ Masters win and continued success could help bolster minority participation in golf, in his opinion.

“These moments bring more people into our sport,” he said.

MLS’ $50 million move

I certainly understand that the prospective owners of an MLS expansion franchise in St. Louis don’t want to make any waves when it comes to landing a team.

Let me be the loudmouth to do it. It seems no one else in the media wants to.

Commissioner Don Garber’s ongoing increased demands for more cash and his interference into stadium construction, naming rights and other revenue producers is becoming more than irritating. He sounds like a loan-sharking wise guy.

His story keeps changing too.

Last week, the MLS announced that it would ultimately expand to 30 teams. Instead of St. Louis and Sacramento battling each other for the right to be Team 28, both cities are now at the head of the pack and will most likely join the MLS field.

In an article posted Tuesday morning (April 23) on SB Nation’s KC Sporting website, it is reported that Team 28 will pay an expansion fee of $150 million and Team 29 will pay $200 million. There has been no explanation why $50 million was added to the price tag for just one expansion team.

It was originally stated that both teams would be asked to pay a $200 million fee. Is this a tactic to create a lucrative race between ownership groups? What gives, Don?

The Taylors and Kavanaugh groups have more than enough money to create a profitable endeavor on their end. Can the MLS say the same thing?

The STL owners unveiled drawings of a spiffy new stadium last week, but there is still a question of how an in-stadium sales tax will be generated. Garber is using this municipal issue to strong arm St. Louis and the prospective owners.

The city’s Board of Aldermen wisely balked at expanding the area covered by the Port Authority, the body that would authorize a 1 percent sales tax at the stadium. If the maneuver was approved, and the Port Authority covered the entire city, there would be no city statute stopping it from using its newly granted power on several issues including eminent domain.

Garber says St. Louis needs to get the stadium funding in order and he doesn’t care if it creates a situation that could haunt St. Louis for years. If this region has learned just one thing over the past 30 years it should be to not do any and everything to land a sports franchise.

I think the city and owners should quit groveling to this Garber guy. If St. Louis is Team 29, tell him what he can do with that additional $50 million – or at least demand an explanation TODAY.

I think one of the prospective owners is beginning to agree.

“While we have been in discussions with various city officials and city agencies on this (sales tax) element of our proposal, this is not something that needs to be in-place to finalize our stadium plan or secure an expansion team,” Carolyn Kindle Betz in a statement.

Those words weren’t directed at St. Louis soccer fans, in my opinion. They were aimed at greedy Garber.

St. Louis wants and deserves a team. Garber’s MLS is trying to pay future bills by squeezing every penny it can out of the respective St. Louis and Sacramento ownership groups. As I’ve stated before, I have full confidence in the ownership group. I have a gigantic vote of “no confidence” in Garber.

This latest bait-and-switch re-enforces my doubts.

Bonds, Fowler a hit

Before Monday’s game against Milwaukee at Busch Stadium, Dexter Fowler received a text from former superstar slugger Barry Bonds. Fowler, whose bat is slowly coming around, was homerless and had driven in just two runs.

He's like, 'Keep swinging it. Now over .300,'" Fowler told the Associated Press.

Fowler followed up by hitting his first home run of the season and collected four hits in a 13-5 victory.

“I've been feeling good,” Fowler said.

“I've been putting in good swings, good at-bats. It's kind of contagious.”

His four hits in five at-bats jumped his batting average to .313 and, hopefully, gets some of the fans that love to hate him off his back. He’s not worried about that, though – just staying hot.

"I'm just going out there trying to take good AB's and let the game come to me," Fowler said.

Centerfielder Harrison Bader is on the injured list with a hamstring issue and reserve outfielder Tyler O’Neill’s elbow injury has him sidelined indefinitely. Fowler’s resurgence will be critical to the Cardinals’ hopes of staying in first place in the tight NL Central early in the season.

The Reid Roundup

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics made short work of the Indian Pacers and are on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Tatum averaged 15.6 points per game and tallied 26 in the second game of the four-game sweep… Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2018-19 All NBA Team. If he gets All-NBA honors, he will be eligible for a supermax contract, beginning in the 2021-22 season. It is projected to be worth $194 million over four years and would start at more than $40 million annually… A Bleacher Report article says the Wizards would be willing to trade Beal and Ian Mahinmi to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, O.G. Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and a 2020 first-round pick… Quarterback Russell Wilson gifted $12,000 in Amazon stock to 13 Seattle Seahawks offensive linemen this week. If the stock repeats what it did over the past 10 years, it would be worth $270,000 in 2029… Wilson signed a $140 million contract last week and announced with a video of him and his wife, Ciara, snuggling in bed. It wasn’t cute or clever – just tacky… Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott looked fat in a photo taken during a celebration of Denver Broncos defensive lineman Von Miller in a Dallas suburb last weekend. He doesn’t look as bad in another photo, but fans like me are concerned. He also is sporting a nose ring now.

Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine Network program, Donnybrook, a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears monthly on “The Dave Glover Show” on 97.1 Talk.” His Twitter handle is @aareid1.

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(1) comment

biagapplepie

The MLS expansion fee is not in fact an expansion fee, it's an investment. The investor will receive one share in the single-entity MLS, which they can trade at a future date. The reason #30 is $50 million more than #29 is that I believe that Sacramento was given a commitment if they met certain criteria, which in their case was a to find primary investor.

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