Why do golf and tennis get so much publicity?

Blair Gowrie By Blair Gowrie, 28th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The brand-name producers know that they can increase their business by building up interest in certain games.

The brand-name business plan

The newspapers and the TV channels are always full of news about golf and tennis. But is anyone really interested? Afrer all, for all the huge publicity given to them, golf and tennis can hardly be considered major sports.

So why have they been elevated to the lofty position where they are now? Surely it cannot be because vast numbers of people are clamouring to see men and women hitting a little white ball on green fairways, or using rackets to strike a white ball back and forth over a net for hours on end. No, there must be other reasons.

Well, one of them is that golf is a rich man’s sport. It is a fact that to play golf you must have money. And, not only money, but you must have friends or partners to play with, and the half-day’s time required for an eighteen hole round. And playing that round, unless you live in some country like Scotland, will set you back a substantial sum. And, last but not least, golf is dominated by exclusive golf clubs, membership of which it is both difficult and expensive to obtain.

Tennis though, is cheaper to play and easier to find a place in which to play. But again it is seen as a sport for the rich and for the upper-income groups, so that the difference between the crowds who attend tennis matches and the crowds who watch football matches is quite noticeable.

So there you have it – these games are played by people with money and watched by people with money, and these are the people who form a market to which producers of expensive brand-name goods wish to promote their products. And, therefore, it is in the interest of these manufacturers to increase the size of this market by building up golf and tennis as major sports. And they do this by ensuring that these sports receive massive media publicity, and by putting up huge sums of prize money, so that a top player can receive a million dollars for only a few days effort.

Yes, that’s right, a million dollars – and this at a time when children are starving to death in Africa. Surely it would be better if some of the immense sums being spent in an endeavour to make elite games into major sports were used for humanitarian purposes.

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