Monahan Reveals Progress Made So Far for PGA Tour and in PIF Negotiations

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, 2023 Tour Championship,(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, 2023 Tour Championship,(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

In his Tour Championship press conference, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan outlined the progress of the PGA Tour, generally, in 2023 as well as the talks with PIF toward an agreement for them to invest in the PGA Tour.

“Thanks in large part to the performance of our players, the PGA TOUR is in the driver’s seat,” Monahan said in his press conference before the Tour Championship. “This was a bridge year, a bridge year to the schedule that you now see for 2024, a year of designated events and full field events.”

The PGA Tour fan base, he noted, is bigger and more diverse than ever.

PGA TOUR broadcasts were watched by 87 million unique viewers who watch an average of 71 minutes a week. In other words, if you watch every day, you are helping out the average of somebody who misses the Thursday/ Friday broadcasts because he or she is at work.

"“The Tour has $10 billion of committed sponsorship revenue plus $5 billion in media rights through 2030.” — Jay Monahan"

As it turns out, the ESPN+ PGA Tour Live is the most watched live sport on that platform, Monahan said.

The Tour’s social media platforms, taken together, have 14 million followers, with an average age of 31.

The sponsorship situation is also solid. Going forward, the Tour has $10 billion of committed sponsorship revenue plus $5 billion in media rights through 2030.

“We have 49 corporate partners who have been committed to us for a decade or longer,” he added. Many of them added to their purse levels to become Signature Events.

The Tour’s retail partner, PGA Tour Superstore, now has 61 locations. That company is headquartered in Atlanta where, Arthur Blank, one of the founders of Home Depot, is owner and chairman of the company.

(In other golf news, Blank recently signed on as an owner of the Atlanta franchise of TMRW Golf, a company started by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Venus and Serena Williams and Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, Reddit founder, purchased the franchise for the Los Angeles team. Fenway Sports Group acquired the Boston market franchise.)

Monahan also gave a nod to the growing charity dollars, noting that by the end of 2024, the PGA Tour will have raised more than $4 billion for charity.

As far as the elephant in the room question, the possibility of reaching a workable deal with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Monahan explained where they were on the deal.

"“We’re confident that we’re going to reach a positive outcome for the PGA TOUR,” he said. “I don’t have any reason to think that we won’t be successful.”"

However, what he did say suggested that the deal might look a bit different than some think. The agreement is an agreement to reach an agreement. High-level pinkie swear stuff.

Monahan said that there are safeguards in place to move the discussion from confrontational to productive creating “a fundamental transition to our business with the formation of NewCo ( short for new company), to have an investable entity for PIF,” that didn’t exist before now.

"“If we were going to end the litigation, we would have just announced that we were ending the litigation,” he added. “It’s our job to put forward the best possible construct with PIF for the future, and we’re going to take that back to our board and ultimately they’re going to decide whether we’re going to move forward with it.”"

dark. Next. 2023 Tour Championship Power Rankings

So, the final decision will be in the hands of PAC ( Player Advisory Council) which includes Peter Malnati, Webb Simpson, Charley Hoffman, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, and more recently, Tiger Woods.

Adam Scott is the chair of PAC as of January 1.