LPGA Tour Posting Impressive Early 2011 Numbers
LPGA Tour popularity “on the rise” through first five 2011 events
TV ratings, attendance and website traffic showing increases compared to last season
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, April 13, 2011 – A new LPGA Tour advertising campaign has LPGA players asking fans to “see why it’s different out here,” and early numbers indicate that more people are tuning in to follow the Tour and its appealing pool of players.
“Thanks to a number of factors—several exciting final-round finishes, a couple of Rolex First-Time Winners in Sandra Gal and Stacy Lewis, and nearly all of the world’s top-ranked players putting themselves at or near the top of the leaderboard during the first five tournaments of 2011—we feel sports fans are embracing the LPGA Tour this season,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “We know it’s early, but we feel that the Tour’s popularity is on the rise and we will do all we can to maintain this momentum throughout the season.”
Total television viewership of the LPGA is up 20 percent in 2011 compared to like events on cable in 2010, and viewership is up 32 percent vs. like events on the Golf Channel.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major of the season recently won by Lewis in a final round battle with Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, were the highest rated and most watched first and second rounds for this event in the past 18 and 17 years, respectfully. The average viewership for the first three rounds of the Kraft Nabisco also reached its highest mark in six years, dating back to when Thursday-Saturday coverage went to ‘all cable’ in 2006.
The first and final rounds of the Kia Classic also drew enough viewers that the two broadcasts would rank among the Top 20 LPGA Golf Channel broadcasts since 2008.
Traffic to LPGA.com also has been on the rise throughout the 2011 season. The leaderboard page for the Kraft Nabisco Championship saw an increase of 77 percent in daily visitors from 2010, and overall traffic to the website during tournament week was up 52 percent. During the Kia Classic, traffic to the leaderboard page was up 15 percent in page views and the website overall saw an 36 percent increase in viewers.
Fans are coming out to watch many of the best women’s golfers in person as well. Attendance at LPGA events is up 8 percent in 2011, according to the numbers through the first four events of the year. (Attendance numbers for the Kraft Nabisco have not yet been reported.) Of the three events tournaments that were also played in 2010 and have reported numbers (Honda LPGA Thailand, HSBC Women’s Champions and the Kia Classic), each one saw at least a 4 percent increase in attendance this year.
Earlier this year, the LPGA announced two new tournament title sponsors: RR Donnelley for the inaugural Founders Cup (won by LPGA Tour legend Karrie Webb in March), and CME Group for the revitalized season finale, now the CME Group Titleholders to be held November 17-20. Another new tournament title sponsor, Avnet, hosts the next LPGA Tour tournament, the Avnet LPGA Classic from April 28-May 1 in Mobile, Alabama.
Topics: Press Release