Longtime Television Sports Industry Executive Begins 2-Year Term
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, January 14, 2014 -- With the roll-out of a well-received 32-event schedule and the recent announcement of the Race to the CME Globe which has drawn praise from tournament partners, players and media, now would seem the perfect time to step into the role as the LPGA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mike Trager, longtime sports and television executive, now has that opportunity and couldn’t be more excited to help in piloting the organization.
“It is an honor to be able to serve the LPGA,” Trager said. “I’m very appreciative to have the support of my fellow board members. This is a great time to be associated with the LPGA and I’m very excited to begin the year in this new role.”
“Up” has been the word of the last few months for the LPGA. The overall number of official tournaments has grown by four, including three new events in North America. Prize money has risen by more than $7 million in 2014 to an all-time high of more than $56 million and 2014 television coverage soars past 350 hours, surpassing the previous record set in 2013.
These are all numbers that Trager understands well, having a long and successful run as head of SMTI, Inc. a sports consultancy and production company he co-founded in 1984, and having also left his mark at major sports organizations including NBC Sports, Clear Channel Entertainment Television, The Baseball Network, SFX Sports Group and the Marquee Group. He is currently Chairman of The Trager Group, a company specializing in television consulting, rights negotiations and production.
Trager succeeds Leslie Greis who served a rewarding seven-year Board term including the last two as Board Chair while the LPGA’s growth curve was picking up pace.
“On behalf of all the players and board members, I’d like to thank Leslie Greis who helped lead the incredible run of momentum we are feeling today,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “Mike Trager’s sports and television background makes him the perfect leader at the perfect time as the LPGA expands its footprint, quite literally, around the world.”
Trager has served on the LPGA’s Board of Directors for 3 years before taking over as Board Chairman. His knowledge of the industry has already proven valuable as the LPGA has grown its worldwide television exposure, ratings and viewing hours.
Trager started his career at NBC where he held various management positions including Vice President of NBC Sports where he was involved in all major programming decisions. After leaving NBC, Trager served as Executive VP of DM&M Advertising in charge of the Anheuser-Busch media account and new broadcast technologies. While at D’Arcy, he managed the historic $25 million commitment by A-B to the then fledgling ESPN.
“Commissioner Whan’s vision for our organization has taken the LPGA on quite a ride,” Trager added. “I look forward to our continued growth and being able to assist in any way possible to keep this momentum going.
Trager is a graduate of Bucknell University where he earned a BS and MBA. He currently resides with his family in Greenwich, CT and Gilford, NH.
Topics: Press Release