LPGA Board of Directors Chairman Dawn Hudson announced on Monday, July 13th, that Rear Admiral Marsha J. Evans, U.S. Navy (retired) and a member of the LPGA Board of Directors, will serve as the player association's Acting Commissioner effective immediately. The move follows the resignation of Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, also announced that same day.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is one of the world’s most dynamic and deeply rooted sports organizations, attributable not only to the talent and universal appeal of its diverse and talented membership, but also to the steadfast commitment of its leader, Carolyn F. Bivens.
At the start of her tenure in the fall of 2005, Bivens sought to enhance its stature among professional sports organizations, increase the value for LPGA partners, tournaments and sponsors, upgrade the fan experience, and ensure members receive the same opportunities and benefits as their professional counterparts around the globe. In less than four years, Bivens has moved the LPGA closer to the crystallization of this vision. She has strengthened the LPGA’s U.S. circuit while enhancing its growing global footprint.
Early in her tenure, Bivens updated the LPGA’s media guidelines to protect players’ rights and enhanced the LPGA brand and marketing platform centered around a new logo that properly reflects the energy, talent and global nature of today’s membership. The LPGA subsequently introduced a line of merchandise and an online pro shop for fans around the world.
In 2007, Bivens acquired the Duramed FUTURES Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA. This important pipeline has seen more than 300 Duramed FUTURES Tour alumni become LPGA members. Seventeen of 35 LPGA winners in 2008 were Duramed FUTURES Tour alums. Also, from 2003-2007, 83% of grads who earned their LPGA Tour card in this manner maintained their LPGA status for at least two seasons – unmatched by any other developmental path.
Last year, Bivens established another major first for the Tour, as she oversaw implementation of the LPGA’s and professional golf’s first drug testing program to ensure competitive equity in the sport. The 2008 season also registered LPGA highs in attendance, tournaments, prize money, web traffic and other exposure barometers.
Early this year, Bivens unveiled an organizational restructure as part of her strategic plan that consolidated several functions into three key business units: Tournament Operations and Player Services; New Business Development and Worldwide Sales; and LPGA Tournament and Schedule Development. Focusing on three key areas enhances the services and event experiences that the LPGA delivers, and increases the efficiency of the overall LPGA operation.
In February 2009, Bivens unveiled two major television rights deals. On the U.S. front, the LPGA Tour and Golf Channel agreed to a historic, 10-year partnership that will make the network the exclusive cable home of the Tour beginning in 2010. Internationally, the LPGA and JoongAng Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) agreed to a five-year partnership that names J Golf the LPGA’s official Korean media rights partner starting in 2010. JBC also will underwrite an event in the greater Los Angeles area on the 2010-2014 LPGA Tour schedules. J Golf’s overall media rights investment in the LPGA over five years is the largest in LPGA history.
Prior to being named LPGA commissioner, Bivens, 56, served as president and chief operating officer of Initiative Media North America, the largest media services agency in the U.S. She previously worked in key positions at USA Today, where she was a member of the original launch team in 1982.
Bivens is active on the board of the Ad Council and a member of the executive committee of the World Golf Foundation. In addition, she is a past chairwoman of the Board of Governors for Children’s Miracle Network. Bivens and her husband, Bill, live in Ormond Beach, Florida.
Topics: Press Release